Last Friday my friend Esther told me she was going to take me to what she thought was the most beautiful park in Winnipeg. It’s called Peanut Park and true to Esther’s word it was a lovely little green space. There are nice benches to sit in all around the park. Many of them have been donated in the memory of loved ones. The park is also filled with special flowerbeds. Each is unique. There is a rose garden, a ‘white’ garden, a butterfly garden and herb garden, two blended gardens and a deep shade garden.
Most of the gardens are dedicated to people as well. We met a man out walking his Yorkshire Terriers in Peanut Park and my friend Esther who used to have two Yorkies herself just had to pet them. As she engaged in friendly conversation with their owner we discovered he lived nearby and was one of an organized group of citizens called Friends of Peanut Park who had helped make the park into such a beautiful space. He told us that although initially, the citizens themselves did lots of work to care for the park, now they have two fundraising events every year which allows them to pay for a professional gardener to look after things. Their neighborhood group has planted dozens of maple, crabapple and lilac trees to replace trees that have died and dead grassy areas have been restored with new sod. Many local residents have made private donations that have helped to create the six raised flower beds and install the winding limestone path through the park. A sign in one of the flower beds led me to a website that told me more about the park’s history and what the Friends of Peanut Park organization has accomplished since they formed in 2007. The park which originally was named for Charles Enderton, a real estate agent and land developer, is over a hundred years old but by 2005 had become an eyesore, full of weeds, dying trees, overgrown paths, broken benches, and a dilapidated playground. People who lived near the park got together and asked a landscape architect to come up with a vision for the park. At their request and supplemented by some of the money the group had raised, the City of Winnipeg installed proper drainage, added picnic tables, built a new playground and readied the flower beds for planting.
Peanut Park is bordered by Harvard and Yale Avenues, Ruskin Row and Avonherst Street. My friend Esther and I walked up and down some neighboring streets admiring all the stately heritage homes that surround the park. I’d love to go back to the park sometime for a picnic and I am wondering how the park got the nickname Peanut Park. Have you been to Peanut Park? What did you think of it? How do you think it got its name?