Archive for category: Press Releases

PIEDMONT PARK CONSERVANCY CEO MARK BANTA ANNOUNCES INTENT TO RETIRE IN 2023

Piedmont Park Conservancy announced Thursday that the nonprofit organization’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Banta, will be retiring in 2023, upon the selection of and transition to his successor. Mark has served as CEO for eight years after a long career in operations at nationally recognized parks and greenspaces, including 16 years as the general manager of Centennial Olympic Park from 1996 to 2012.

“The Piedmont Park Conservancy continues to be very grateful for Mark’s leadership,” Ellen Sacchi, the Conservancy’s Board Chair said. “Mark has made a notable impact during his time of service, and I know we will all continue to see the significance of his work at Piedmont Park for years to come.”

“Leading the Piedmont Park Conservancy has truly been the highlight of my professional career. I’m honored to have led the amazing team here at PPC who are ready to take on the next opportunities and challenges and I look forward to helping the board position the next CEO for success,” said Mark Banta.

Mark joined the Conservancy staff as Chief Operating Officer in 2014 and was promoted shortly thereafter to CEO. Under his leadership, the Conservancy’s annual budget increased to over $4.5 million, an operating reserve was established that enabled the organization to weather the pandemic successfully and the Park’s visitation grew to about six million annual visitors.

The Board of Directors will oversee the process to choose Mark’s successor and has selected BoardWalk Consulting to conduct a national search for a new CEO. After his successor is in place and a transition period in early 2023, Mark will serve in a consulting role to the new CEO.

To learn more about Piedmont Park Conservancy, click here.

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The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $4 million annually to enhance and maintain the Park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Contact: Courtney Bugler
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: cbugler@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 875-7275, ext. 223

 

Piedmont Park Conservancy Raises Over $400,000 at Landmark Luncheon’s 25th Anniversary

Returning to pre-pandemic levels, 475 Atlantans supported Landmark Luncheon on Thursday, April 28 which raised approximately $400,000 for Piedmont Park Conservancy. Piedmont Park attracts almost 6 million visitors and the Conservancy is responsible for 95% of daily operations. With a renewed appreciation for greenspace, events like Landmark Luncheon are critical to sustaining the funds needed to keep Piedmont Park clean, green and active all year long. 

Norfolk Southern CEO James (Jim) Squires and Karen Jones Squires chaired this year’s Landmark Luncheon, and recently gave a transformational unrestricted gift to the Conservancy. The collective impact of the luncheon raising $400,000 in addition to the Squires’ personal gift makes this year’s Landmark Luncheon the most successful fundraiser in Piedmont Park Conservancy’s history. Norfolk Southern was this year’s Presenting Sponsor.

Northside Hospital was honored with the Green Giant Award for their ongoing partnership with Piedmont Park Conservancy and for their community impact as healthcare workers during the peak of the pandemic. The Green Giant Award was sponsored by Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Also, John Izard, Jr. was presented with the Legacy Award for his influence on Piedmont Park including the 53-acre expansion and past Board leadership. The Legacy Award was sponsored by Delta.

Other generous support includes Anniversary Sponsors Coca-Cola Company and Cox Enterprises. The event was hosted by Channel 2’s Justin Farmer.

To learn more about Piedmont Park Conservancy, click here.

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The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3.5 million annually to enhance and maintain the Park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Contact: Courtney Bugler
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: cbugler@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 875-7275, ext. 223

Landmark Luncheon

Piedmont Park Conservancy Guests of Landmark Luncheon

Piedmont Park Conservancy Landmark Luncheon Event Chairs Karen Jones Squires and Jim Squires with their daughter Maggie Squires (Left to right)

Piedmont Park Conservancy Landmark Luncheon Event Chairs Karen Jones Squires and Jim Squires with their daughter Maggie Squires (Left to right)

Northside Hospital Receives the 2022 Green Giant Award from Piedmont Park Conservancy. Pictured: Northside Hospital Director of Emergency Services Chris Munn and Piedmont Park Conservancy Board Chair Ellen Sacchi.

Northside Hospital Receives the 2022 Green Giant Award from Piedmont Park Conservancy. Pictured: Northside Hospital Director of Emergency Services Chris Munn and Piedmont Park Conservancy Board Chair Ellen Sacchi.

John Izard, Jr. Receives the 2022 Legacy Award from Piedmont Park Conservancy. Pictured: John Izard, Jr. and Piedmont Park Conservancy President & CEO Mark Banta.

John Izard, Jr. Receives the 2022 Legacy Award from Piedmont Park Conservancy. Pictured: John Izard, Jr. and Piedmont Park Conservancy President & CEO Mark Banta.

Piedmont Park Conservancy Board Member Tony Hilliard Speaks to Landmark Luncheon Attendees About the Importance of Piedmont Park and the Conservancy.

Piedmont Park Conservancy Board Member Tony Hilliard Speaks to Landmark Luncheon Attendees About the Importance of Piedmont Park and the Conservancy.

Piedmont Park Conservancy Landmark Luncheon Event Committee: (Left to right) Donna Barwick, Sheryl Meddin, Jan Harralson, Mark Banta, Wick Garrard, Holly B. Stevens

Piedmont Park Conservancy Landmark Luncheon Event Committee: (Left to right) Donna Barwick, Sheryl Meddin, Jan Harralson, Mark Banta, Wick Garrard, Holly B. Stevens

Piedmont Park’s Green Market Now Accepts EBT

We are excited to announce the return of Green Market to Piedmont Park on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm. Green Market encourages sustainable communities in the most basic way – by providing shoppers with direct access to local farmers and small businesses. Enjoy seasonal produce, prepared foods, baked goods, bath and body products, locally made dog food and treats, and more.

New this year – Green Market now accepts EBT! Piedmont Park Conservancy is partnering with Wholesome Wave Georgia to offer Georgia Fresh For Less – a program that doubles these benefits for market fresh fruits and vegetables! How does it work? Bring your EBT Card to the Green Market. Swipe your card for the amount you choose and we’ll match your EBT dollars, dollar-for-dollar, with free tokens for fruits and vegetables.

Come walk the market and enjoy the fun every Saturday from March through December.

WHAT: Green Market Opening Day and Announcing New EBT Program

WHO: Vendors are available for interviews, as well as the Green Market Manager Matthew Bagshaw and the Director of Communications Amy Han Risher. Topics can include the market itself, importance of farmers market, how the market enhances Piedmont Park and/or the details about the new EBT program. If you plan on attending, call or text Amy 912-690-7109 to facilitate.

WHEN: Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 9 am – 1pm.

WHERE: Piedmont Park – 12th Street and Piedmont Avenue Gate.

DETAILS: Green Market Webpage

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The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3.5 million annually to enhance and maintain the Park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Media Contact: Amy Han Risher
Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: arisher@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 480-3758

Piedmont Park Conservancy Welcomes 2022 New Board Members

The Piedmont Park Conservancy welcomes four new members to their board of directors: Louisa Basarrate, Chris Buettner of Cox Enterprises, Allen Roberson of Sage and James A. Squires of Norfolk Southern Corporation.

The Conservancy looks forward to working with these new board members to keep Piedmont Park thriving for the Atlanta community.

Biographies:

Louisa Basarrate

After a 20+ year career in non-profit development, marketing and management, followed by time as a stay-at-home mom, Louisa Basarrate currently volunteers and enjoys living in both Atlanta and San Francisco. She is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. Louisa is married to Armando Basarrate and the mother of Sophie Basarrate (23).

Louisa achieved designation as a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) for accomplishments in professional practice, education and community service. Her previous organizations included Atlanta Speech School, Shepherd Center, Jerusalem House, AID Atlanta and SunTrust Bank.

She is engaged in her local communities including cultural organizations such as: Open Hand Atlanta, San Francisco Ballet, High Museum, Metropolitan Museum, DeYoung/Legion of Honor, Atlanta Botanical Garden, and Atlanta Ballet.

Chris Buettner

After a career on the digital agency side that spanned 20+ years, Chris Buettner now leads the Marketing and Brand team at Cox Enterprises, working on a broad range of initiatives from employment brand efforts to attract top talent to the company’s diverse family of brands to marketing strategy for new business focus areas like Cox Cleantech.

In his current role, he is also helping to bring Cox’s social impact vision to life of positively impacting 34 million lives by 2034, an initiative that allows him to combine many of his personal passions in areas such as education and environmental stewardship.

Prior to Cox, he led an international network of top digital marketing agencies focused on the future of marketing and digital experiences, expanding the international reach of the organization from 15 to 42 countries in five years. Chris lives in Decatur with his wife and two daughters – both of whom are proud alums of the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s summer camps.

Allen Roberson

Allen Roberson recently joined Sage as the Finance Director in November of 2021. Prior to Sage, Allen worked at International Hotel Group (IHG) for 15 years where he served as Head of Finance & Business Partnering; Commercial & Technology Products and Platforms. Allen also worked with IBM as a Corporate Internal Auditor and Sales & Distribution Financial Analyst.

Mr. Roberson possesses demonstrated passion for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) through Community Partnership Committee leadership with the Black Employee Resource Group (ERG) and active member of the Out & Open LGBTQ+ ERG. He implemented blind resume reviews and diverse interview panels into the function’s recruiting process to improve the diversity of candidate interview slates.

Mr. Roberson currently serves as a valued member of Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Finance Committee.

James A. Squires

Jim Squires is chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC), a FORTUNE 500 transportation company whose railroad operates across 19,500 miles in 22 states, connecting businesses and communities to the marketplaces of the world.

Jim joined Norfolk Southern’s Law Department in 1992 and has held roles of increasing responsibility. They include vice president law; senior vice president law; senior vice president financial planning; executive vice president finance and chief financial officer; and executive vice president administration. Jim became president of the company in 2013 and was named chairman and CEO in 2015.

A native of Hollis, New Hampshire, Jim is a 1983 graduate of Amherst College and was an Amherst-Doshisha Fellow at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. He earned his J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he has served as a member of the Visiting Committee. He is a proud veteran of the U.S. Army.

Currently serving as chair of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Jim also has served as chair of the Association of American Railroads, as a board member of the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as a trustee of the Sentara Healthcare System, and as chairman of Virginia’s Transportation Accountability Commission.

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The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3.5 million annually to enhance and maintain the Park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Media Contact: Amy Han Risher
Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: arisher@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 480-3758

Over 650 Dogs Make a Splash to Support Piedmont Park Dog Parks

On October 2 and 3, dogs and their owners filled the Piedmont Park Pool during the return of the 12th annual Splish Splash Doggie Bash. The Piedmont Park Conservancy hosted this special fundraiser that directly supports the maintenance of Piedmont Park Dog Parks. A great time was had by all as local dog owners and dog lovers gathered together for a weekend of fun to kick off the Fall season!

This event took place at the end of pool season, allowing the dogs to run free and let out all their energy in the Piedmont Park Pool. This made for some amusing photo opportunities and adorable moments between many different kinds of pups! Canine owners also had a great time as they were allowed to take their pets off-leash and witness the doggy party.

Various vendors added to the excitement by giving away free treats, toys and merchandise for participants. Park visitors observed from outside the pool and many took advantage of the walk-up registration. Splish Splash Doggie Bash 2021 was a huge success, registering over 660 dogs and raising over $20,000 for the Piedmont Park Dog Parks.

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The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3.5 million annually to enhance and maintain the Park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Media Contact: Amy Han Risher
Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: arisher@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 480-3758

 

Dogs were spoiled with pool toys and tennis balls during Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Splish Splash Doggie Bash 2021.

Owners created some lasting memories with pets, while supporting the maintenance of Piedmont Park Dog Parks. 

Over 650 dogs of all shapes and sizes were free to play off-leash over a fun-filled weekend.

Piedmont Park Conservancy Launches Safe Haven Fund at Landmark Luncheon

At the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Landmark Luncheon on September 14, the Conservancy made an inaugural announcement of the Piedmont Park Safe Haven Fund. In response to increased concerns about safety, the fund will allow Piedmont Park Conservancy to financially support safety improvements recommended by the city of Atlanta and other public safety experts.

Themed “Together, We Grow,” Landmark Luncheon celebrated the strength of the Piedmont Park community and the park’s role as Atlanta’s green refuge. A socially-distant meal under individual tents allowed attendees to connect with the Conservancy’s mission while in comfort for their health and safety.

The 2021 Legacy Award Recipient is Penny McPhee for her work with the Arthur M. Blank Foundation. The Piedmont Park Conservancy gives thanks to the luncheon’s presenting sponsor, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and reception sponsor, the Coca-Cola Company. The event was hosted by Channel 2’s Lori Wilson.

Landmark Luncheon attendees were the first to be invited to donate to the Safe Haven Fund. The fund was announced to the public on Wednesday, September 15. A generous donor will match all gifts to the Safe Haven Fund from September 15 through September 30, up to $100,000. You may learn more about the fund at piedmontpark.org.

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The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3.5 million annually to enhance and maintain the Park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Media Contact: Amy Han Risher
Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: arisher@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 480-3758

Guests enjoy Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Landmark Luncheon under socially distant, individual tents in beautiful Piedmont Park. CREDIT: DV Photo Video

Penny McPhee was honored with the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s 2021 Legacy Award at this year’s Landmark Luncheon. Pictured (left to right): Piedmont Park Conservancy President and CEO Mark Banta, WSB-TV’s Lori Wilson, and Penny and Ray McPhee. CREDIT: DV Photo Video

Aerial view of Piedmont Park Conservancy’s signature fundraiser, Landmark Luncheon.

Piedmont Park Conservancy Fundraisers Return with Picnic for Piedmont Park

On July 14, over 400 guests came together with their picnic gear in support of the Piedmont Park Conservancy. After almost a year and a half without in-person events, Piedmont Park Conservancy hosted their first outdoor fundraiser in beautiful Piedmont Park. Picnic for Piedmont Park raised $70,000 to support the Conservancy’s mission to preserve and enhance the park, including landscaping, park beautification, offering free guided history tours, hosting a farmer’s market, maintenance of the dog parks and more.

From delicious catered food and craft cocktails to games and music, it was a fun summer evening in the green heart of Atlanta. Families, friends and pets all came together under the clear skies and setting sun to celebrate Piedmont Park.

You can learn more about the Piedmont Park Conservancy at piedmontpark.org. Following Picnic for Piedmont Park is the Conservancy’s annual Landmark Luncheon fundraiser on September 14, 2021. Tickets are now available.

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The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3.5 million annually to enhance and maintain the Park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Media Contact: Amy Han Risher
Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: arisher@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 480-3758

Picnic for Piedmont Park guests enjoying their picnics in the greenery of Piedmont Park.

Guests of Picnic for Piedmont Park had over 200 acres of park space to spread out.

Giant family friendly games created a casual, fun vibe at Picnic for Piedmont Park.

Many furry friends were spotted at Piedmont Park Conservancy’s Picnic for Piedmont Park.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy is Rolling Up Its Sleeves

Now that summer is here, Piedmont Park is busier than ever, and keeping it clean and green for all Atlantans is quite the challenge. As more people are getting vaccinated and feeling safe to come outside, that means more events and more foot traffic, which makes keeping the Park clean that much harder. The Piedmont Park Conservancy’s biggest challenge is to maintain a flourishing landscape despite the unpredictable Georgia weather and the pressing pedestrian litter.

Everyone knows that Piedmont Park is the city of Atlanta’s backyard, where anyone can exercise with their dog, throw a birthday party or pack a picnic date. Who takes care of that backyard? A crew of less than 10 landscapers, engineers and technicians maintain 90% of Piedmont Park’s 200 acres. While they are responsible for cleaning up after us every day, the Piedmont Park Conservancy heavily relies on community participation to keep the greenspace safe, clean and beautiful. Donations and volunteer work are integral to keep the Park operating.

Volunteers and staff are constantly kept busy this summer planting new flowers, renovating park benches and taking care of trees. However, the biggest threat to the landscape, the wildlife and park guests is litter. As guests flood in to enjoy their summer in the Park, they often leave behind litter.

While the Piedmont Park Conservancy works tirelessly with the city to keep up with trash collection and staff address litter in highly trafficked areas, Piedmont Park is depending on the community to act. First, asking Atlanta residents to be mindful by packing trash in and out, doing their best to leave no trace. Then, if you can go a step further, volunteer in the Park, donate and become a keeper of one of Atlanta’s most iconic and beloved greenspaces.

Those interested in supporting the Piedmont Park Conservancy with donations or volunteering can visit piedmontpark.org/support for more information.

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The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3.5 million annually to enhance and maintain the Park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Media Contact: Amy Han Risher
Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: arisher@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 480-3758

Willy’s Mexicana Grill at Piedmont Park Under Construction for New Concept

Willy’s Mexicana Grill at Piedmont Park has secured a lease with the Piedmont Park Conservancy for the Community Center vestibule area and will be constructing a new concept in the coming months. Willy’s Mexicana Grill existing restaurant will be operating out of a food truck starting February 23, 2021 and is expected to return to its brick and mortar location sometime in April.

For further questions, please contact Willy’s Mexicana Grill’s Vice President of Marketing Diana Holley at diana@willys.com.

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About Piedmont Park Conservancy
The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3 million each year to enhance and maintain the park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

Media Contact: Amy Han Risher
Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: arisher@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 480-3758

Shake Shack Coming to Piedmont Park

Shake Shack has secured a lease with the Piedmont Park Conservancy to open their sixth metro Atlanta location at Piedmont Park. Shake Shack will be located at the Piedmont Park Conservancy Community Center, directly adjacent to Willy’s Mexicana Grill at 1071 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309.

“Shake Shack coming to Piedmont Park is a dream come true,” says Mark Banta, President and CEO of Piedmont Park Conservancy. “We can’t wait to see Park visitors enjoying classic roadside burgers and frozen custard shakes all year round. The Piedmont Park Conservancy’s new relationship with the family friendly establishment will enhance the Piedmont Park experience by adding more food options and a fun, upbeat environment. Landing this fantastic tenant was the direct result of the hard work of past and present Conservancy Board Members.”

The space is anticipated to host seating options as well as a Shack Track exterior walk-up window, giving guests a seamless pickup experience. The Shack Track experience is Shake Shack’s digital pre-ordering and fulfillment experience. Shack Track includes the ability to preorder via app or web and pick up by way of a walk up window, curbside pick-up or in-Shack pick-up shelves.

“We’re incredibly excited to be joining Piedmont Park,” says Andrew McCaughan, Chief Development Officer of Shake Shack. “Shake Shack started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in New York City and became a beloved community gathering place. Parks are a part of our history and supporting public spaces a core value as a company. We’re looking forward to serving guests of Piedmont Park and working with the Piedmont Park Conservancy to uphold the common ground’s iconic reputation.”

Shake Shack expects to open at Piedmont Park in late 2021 or early 2022.

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About Piedmont Park Conservancy
The Piedmont Park Conservancy is a member and donor funded nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Atlanta to maintain and enhance historic Piedmont Park. Founded in 1989, the Conservancy raises over $3 million each year to enhance and maintain the park. Today, the Conservancy manages over 90% of the overall maintenance and security of Piedmont Park.

About Shake Shack
Shake Shack is a modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, chicken sandwiches and flat-top Vienna beef dogs (no hormones or antibiotics – ever), spun-fresh frozen custard, crinkle cut fries, craft beer and wine and more. With its fresh, simple, high-quality food at a great value, Shake Shack is a fun and lively community gathering place with widespread appeal. Shake Shack’s mission is to Stand for Something Good®from its premium ingredients and caring hiring practices to its inspiring designs and deep community investment. Since the original Shack opened in 2004 in NYC’s Madison Square Park, the company has expanded to more than 280 locations in 27 U.S. States and the District of Columbia, including more than 80 international locations across London, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Dubai, Philippines, Singapore, Mexico, Tokyo, Seoul and more.

Skip the line with the Shack App, a mobile ordering app that lets you save time by ordering ahead! Guests can select their location, pick their food, choose a pickup time and their meal will be cooked-to-order and timed to arrival. Available on iOS and Android.

Learn more: shakeshack.com | IG: @shakeshack | t: @shakeshack | facebook.com/shakeshack

Contacts

Piedmont Park Conservancy Contact: Amy Han Risher
Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Piedmont Park Conservancy
E: arisher@piedmontpark.org
P: (404) 480-3758

Shake Shack Contact:
Katie Scott | Shake Shack | kscott@shakeshack.com

Photographs

Lease Space Photo:

Dog Park water fountains and restrooms are closed for repairs Learn More