New Exhibitat Welcomes Home the Chimney Swift

The Atlanta Audubon Society, in partnership with the Piedmont Park Conservancy, City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation Department, has installed a new home for an exceptional little bird known as the Chimney Swift. You may have already noticed the chimney-like tower in the northern area of Piedmont Park called the Piedmont Commons. It sits amidst a verdant field of flowers and grasses that will attract pollinators and other insects, which fosters a vibrant and exciting natural habitat for the chimney swift to prosper.

This new addition to wildlife preservation in Piedmont Park blends perfectly with the Conservancy’s Field Trip programs, bringing another unique and important education opportunity to the children of Atlanta as they interact with nature. The tower and surrounding area also presents a new beautiful aesthetic for all to enjoy in the North area of the Park!

The unveiling was a lively and creative event which kicked off with local nonprofits and artists participating in a chalk festival. Each chalk display showed a little piece of the organization’s soul and passion for Georgia conservation efforts, and proved that members of these organizations have no shortage of artistic skill!

Thank you, Krystal Collier and Kalia Edmonds, for your amazing chalk contribution!

Chalk Festival Winner: Sierra Club

After the festival, guests mingled and viewed the tower while enjoying cheese, fruit, and an Orpheus beer brewed specially for the occasion, aptly named “Little Birds Have Fast Hearts.” Since the Chimney Swift tower was the result of great partnerships between multiple nonprofits to bring a dream to life, there were many speakers contributing words of support and gratitude.

“If we are able to expose our kids to nature, I believe that we can solve a lot of the world’s problems,” says Piedmont Park Conservancy President & CEO Mark Banta, as he explains how this tower is a great addition to our camp and field trip program.

Finally, to celebrate the official grand opening of the tower, the event concluded with a ribbon cutting.

You may still be asking yourself, who is this bird, and what does the tower do for it?

The Chimney Swift loves living in tight spaces with a large group of other Chimney Swifts, and due to their very short legs, they can only perch on vertical surfaces. Over the years, this has led these birds to most commonly find a home in the chimneys of human houses. Chimneys, however, are on the decline, leaving many Chimney Swifts hard-pressed to find a suitable living situation. Piedmont Park’s new Chimney Swift tower will be the perfect new home for many as they begin to gather after their mating season. Don’t forget to watch for the little aerobatic birds coming and going from Piedmont Park’s new chimney!

Author: William Lange

Featuring New Dog Park Agility Equipment

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is excited to announce the newest feature installed in the Piedmont Park large dog park; a brand new agility course!

The course was graciously donated to the Piedmont Park Dog Parks by 16-year-old Ansley Park resident Jason Steinfeld. Jason is a Life Rank Boy Scout working toward Eagle Scout rank. He wanted to bring some added excitement to the dog parks and allow an area for the dogs to play, exercise and even do some agility training. He hopes this installation will bring joy to both dogs and their owners.

“I love Piedmont Park. I did my Bar Mitzvah Project in the Park by planting a big Oak tree and ferns.  So it seemed natural to have my Eagle Project here too,” said Jason.

Jason with Piedmont Park Conservancy President/CEO Mark Banta

Jason worked on this project for over a year so that dogs all over Atlanta could come to Piedmont Park and have a little something extra to enjoy. Over 20 scout, family and friend volunteers helped with the installation.

The agility course represents the Conservancy’s efforts to encourage park visitors to be active while also having fun – humans and dogs alike! Appreciation goes to Jason and the Steinfield family for this enhancement for their fellow Atlantans.

Head outdoors with your furry friend, and visit the Piedmont Park Dog Parks this weekend for a new experience!

Guest Post by Alexandra Anton

Landscape Improvement on Piedmont Avenue

Avid runners and walkers of Piedmont Park will notice a vast different on Piedmont Avenue. The Piedmont Park Conservancy just completed a landscaping improvement at the north end of Piedmont Park creating a safer environment for pedestrians to travel along Piedmont Avenue towards the Monroe Drive entrance. The project cleared an immense gathering of brush and collective trash, and the removal of invasive species. Additionally, a decorative wall was installed to add another layer of curbside appeal.

Local jogger Amy says “I am [happy] to see the new section of the park off of Piedmont Avenue. As somebody that runs in that area quite a bit, it’s nice to not only see the sidewalk fixed, but just to see all of the beautiful landscaping.”

BEFORE

AFTER

BEFORE

AFTER

A less popular area of Piedmont Park, the former state of the north end was one of the remaining areas that needed vast improvement after the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s capital campaigns. Since 1989, the Conservancy has invested over $66 million into the park, and found the remaining area unacceptable.

“The north end landscape improvement was a natural next step to improving the Piedmont Park experience. We wanted to bring this area up to the expectations of what Atlantans know to be beautiful Piedmont Park,” says Mark Banta, President/CEO of the Piedmont Park Conservancy.

Appreciation goes to The Kendeda Fund for funding this project. The project was designed by HGOR. The construction was completed by Gibson Landscape. The Piedmont Park Conservancy is in conversation with the City of Atlanta about the completion of the sidewalk improvement surrounding the north end of Piedmont Park.

 

Replacement of Piedmont Park’s Beloved Climbing Magnolia

The Vasser Woolley Foundation donates $20,000 for tree and care

In spring of last year, Piedmont Park was highlighted in the AJC for being home to the most recognizable and most photographed tree in Atlanta – the “Climbing Magnolia.” If you grew up in Atlanta, or are a frequent park visitor, chances are you have either climbed on this tree yourself or taken a picture in front it. Its sweeping limbs made the perfect perch for that keepsake photo or unique vantage point of Atlanta’s historic park.

But in July 2016, the Climbing Magnolia sadly toppled over succumbing to a column of rot that had weakened its core. Based on its rings, many believe the magnolia dates back to the Cotton States Exhibition in 1895 -an important milestone in Atlanta’s history.

Fortunately, a 20’ magnolia, with a 70” root ball, weighing over 8,000 lbs has been successfully installed in Piedmont Park. The Piedmont Park Conservancy extends great appreciation to the Vasser Woolley Foundation for donating $20,000 towards the replacement, installation and ongoing care of this iconic Atlanta landmark. The Conservancy looks forward to the many years ahead of the new Magnolia.

Moments before the new Magnolia Tree is planted.

Jennifer Rudder places her hand on the 70″ root ball.

Piedmont Park Conservancy staff members Krystal Collier, Amy Han Dietrich, Jennifer Rudder and Terrell Henderson posing by the new magnolia tree.

Piedmont Park Greenhouse Open for Education Programs

On Tuesday morning, the Piedmont Park Conservancy celebrated the opening of a new greenhouse which was generously donated by Wells Fargo. Guests were welcomed with fresh mint-infused lemonade, cucumber water and fresh pastries. The weather was refreshingly cool for a June morning, and the clouds provided a nice blanket of shade. The greenhouse stands adjacent to the Conservancy maintenance shop, and faces out to the Piedmont Commons area. The soft sounds of ventilation fans could be heard, releasing the hot air from within the clear structure.

Representatives from Wells Fargo were welcomed with a recognition decal placed on the opening of the greenhouse. Because of a generous donation from the Northwood Garden Club, attendees were able to peruse the greenhouse which already had its first generation of plantings including peppers, squash and cherry tomatoes, and newly bought equipment to enable the house to flourish.

Mark Banta, President and CEO of the the Piedmont Park Conservancy, welcomed guests and exclaimed that the Conservancy was very excited to obtain this long-desired wish list item. Banta extended appreciation to Wells Fargo’s Kris Christy for partnering with the organization to make this dream possible, and to Chris McDaid for his dedication to the Conservancy and this project. Banta followed up with a thoughtful commentary about the Northwood Garden Club and their continuous support for our horticultural projects, and especially recognizing Esther Stokes for her involvement with the organization.

Then, Mary Yetter, Green Market Manager and the cultivator of Piedmont Park’s gardens, explained that this greenhouse will be crucial to meeting the Conservancy’s future goals of environmental education. From the vast amount of field trips that happen in the park to the EnviroVentures Summer Camp youth, the greenhouse would allow year-round exposure to gardening education. Additionally, the greenhouse opens the potential for future plant sales and member engagement.

The event closed with a ribbon cutting, with a long yellow strand creating a vibrant photo opportunity with the dedication’s special guests. Wells Fargo and the Northwood Garden Club received promising seedlings of tomato plants in soft blue pots as gifts of gratitude.

Appreciation goes to Wells Fargo and the Northwood Garden Club for making this opportunity possible for the Piedmont Park Conservancy. We are excited to give our readers an update on the greenhouse’s progress in the coming months.

Wells Fargo’s Kris Christy and Chris McDaid

 

Northwood Garden Club’s Linda Copeland and Esther Stokes

The dedication was at 10am on Tuesday, June 6. The greenhouse is only accessible by Piedmont Park Conservancy staff. Greenhouse visitation will be infused into various programming. If you have questions about the greenhouse, please email myetter@piedmontpark.org.