Piedmont Park

There is so much to do! There are so many places to go! Summer is finally here! No more school or homework to stop you from having a good time. What should you do first? Personally, I’m thinking something fun that doesn’t break the bank.

O.K., so first off the summer heat in Georgia is ridiculous, not to mention the humidity and pollution make it feel even hotter here than it actually is. A nice pool is hard enough to find, but finding a nice publicly available (without membership) pool that is in an area with mostly young people is basically unheard of, right? Actually, there is such a place. It is in the city (so if you want to walk around the city afterwards you can), in a park that features athletic fields, beach-volleyball courts, a “green” market,” lots of walking/ jogging paths, and more.

Piedmont Park in Midtown is one of Atlanta’s largest parks. You can grill there; fish there, bring your dog, or just sit back and relax. Especially with special events that take place in the park such as “Music Midtown,” or “The Dogwood Festival,” you simply cannot be bored at this location. There are literally hundreds of ways to entertain yourself and others in this park. Piedmont Park also offers different programs and classes, such as “Children’s Cooking.” These classes are a great way to pass the time on slower summer days. Plus you are guaranteed to meet a colorful set of diverse characters from all over the Georgia/ Atlanta area.

Piedmont Park is one of the cleanest, best-maintained parks I have ever had the pleasure to visit, and that is saying a lot. It is beautiful, as well as cleaned to a high standard, and vastly fun. It can make for the perfect date as well. Think about it. It’s basically free, bring a picnic and you don’t even have to buy fancy restaurant food. The park has a gazebo that overlooks a peaceful lake, and other scenic views. Moreover there are fun places, such as playgrounds spread out all around. You won’t need to buy a bouquet of flowers; you can take her to an entire park full of them. Plus the bus runs right by the park, so you don’t need to pollute by taking your own car.

There is no way to summarize, or even begin to convey all that Piedmont Park has to offer based on accessibility, location, amenities, and community, alone. Some people say a picture is worth a thousand words, well if so, this park is worth a minimum of a trillion but since we don’t have enough time for that, I’d say this park is at least worth a visit. See for yourself the youthful joy that is Piedmont Park. Enjoy its splendor. You could spend the whole summer there. There is simply so much to do. There are just so many places to go.

Murphey Candler Park

Wildlife is one of Atlanta’s biggest draws. Our state’s rich and diverse variety of plants and animals is more than just fascinating. It is part of what makes our state what it is.

More and more, we are seeing animals out in the open: in our neighborhoods, by our schools, even in our backyards.

At first this seems really cool, because, hey, you get to see all of the wonderful native animals of Georgia without going to the zoo, but these sightings are anything but good. Seeing animals in and around the city means that they are being forced out of their safe natural habitats and into the exposed open, around cars and people, who could accidently hurt them.

With their original homes destroyed, most animals turn to some of the only natural places left in the urban areas of our beautiful state: parks.

One of these parks is Murphey Candler Park. Open from dawn until dusk, local residents have reported sighting deer, ducks, geese, beavers, skunks, coyotes, fox, frogs, toads, raccoons, rabbits, possums, chipmunks, squirrels, bats, turtles, snakes, herons, and much more.

You do not have to look hard to see some of these animals, either. Because of the large lake in the park, you can almost always see ducks, geese and turtles. In the evening, near summer, you can see bats swooping down for bugs over the lake. Early in the morning (just as the park opens) it is likely that you will see deer, fox, beavers or even a coyote.

Don’t fear: the animals in this area will leave you alone as long as you do not bother them, and seeing them in their natural habitat can be breathtaking.

You are more likely to see animals, and some indigenous foliage, if you walk/ run the trail around the lake. It is not a difficult run and makes for a great walk with your family or friends. The park is not a dog park, but dogs on leashes are more than welcome, and you will find a lot there.

The park also boasts two well-maintained tennis courts, 5 playgrounds, a large field, multiple covered picnic areas (with grills available), benches, doggie pickup bags and cans, docks for motor-less boats (such as kayaks and canoes) and a scenic pier.

One of the best aspects of this park is how few people are aware of it. Oftentimes you get to know the regulars and hardly ever have to wait for anything, such as courts or picnic areas. On a summer day, if you get hot, you can stop by the public pool, just around the corner, and go for a swim for just a few dollars. And if you find yourself alone in the park, and you sit just still and quiet enough, you are practically sure to see some marvelous animals.

Overall, Murphey Candler Park is a beautiful, peaceful place that can also be exciting and fun. With a large number of different animals and plants, the park is a guaranteed way for you to become involved in your local wildlife. Plus, the park includes various ways for you to get exercise, and also ways to just pass the time.

Grab some burgers and go grill. Take a nature walk with your friends. Rent kayaks and learn a new skill. Play tennis. Witness all of the beauty this state still has to offer.

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OnAir says: The whole point of saving the earth is so we’ll be able to savor it in places like this!  Have you got a favorite nature-haunt in your town? Tell us about it in the comments!

Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park

If you are like most people, you probably haven’t been on a skateboard in years, and if you have been on a skateboard recently, then you’ll know how difficult skating is. It could be your first day learning to skate, or you could have been doing it for years and actually be quite talented.

No matter what your skill level (if you have one yet), Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park is a great way to spend some of your free time. For starters, it’s free! Nothing beats that, right? Except that it’s an incredibly fun way to even spend an entire day, and that it caters to all skill levels (including beginner). When there, you can see everything from really talented skaters to a father teaching his two- or three-year-old daughter how to skate for the first time.

If you’re not into skating yet, that’s fine! It’s the type of sport that can be fun from the first day. Don’t have a board? You can easily get one for ten dollars at any large super store. Trust me, it’s worth it. Even if you buy a board, and go to the park and get tired of skating, you can still do so much. The park has the skate park (of course), a nice sidewalk, benches, tables, a large field, and, yes, you guessed it, a pretty cool playground.

Whether you have or haven’t been on a board in the past few years, I’m sure one of your friends has. Bring them with you. Fourth Ward Skate Park is great place to go with friends. They can teach you how to skate, if you don’t already know, you guys can run around, walk your dog, or just hang out. Whatever you do, you’ll have a great time!

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OnAir says…  Skating is a great, zero-pollution way to get where you’re going–and you can even earn AirCreds for it!

Is there a skater’s haven near you? Tell us about it in the comments.

Atlanta Parks

What if I told you there was a free, environmentally friendly way to have fun, at places that are probably walking or biking distance from where you are right now? That would sound crazy, right? Except it’s true. The Atlanta area is absolutely full of parks. You’ve probably seen quite a few but never really thought much about them.

When you hang out with friends, you drive to their houses and then maybe go to the movies, or just hang out. That’s just how you do things. Well, going to the movies costs money, and driving places takes lots of time and pollutes the environment, plus you don’t get any exercise just hanging around. Whereas biking, walking, running or skateboarding to your local parks helps you get outside, stay fit, and have fun without having to pay or pollute the air.

All around you there are well-maintained public areas designed for your enjoyment. If you skate, there are loads of places for you to go and meet people who enjoy the same thing. The same goes for biking, hiking, and yes, don’t be ashamed, playing on playgrounds. There are basketball and tennis courts, soccer and baseball fields, lakes to kayak or fish in, and much more.

If you don’t consider yourself outdoorsy, don’t worry. It’s never too late to try something new. Learning a new skill opens up all kinds of doors and opportunities. You may be surprised how much you enjoy doing these activities once you start, and you may find you’ve a hidden talent.

So next time you and your friends want to meet up at a fast-food restaurant, consider a picnic in the park; next time you want to go to the movies, throw out the idea of skating.

Get out. Get active. Try something new.