Manitoba

Peanut Park gets new lease on life

A 109-year-old park in Winnipeg's Crescentwood neighbourhood has been reborn, thanks to a group of locals who reclaimed it from graffiti, drug deals, and neglect.
Peanut Park has undergone extensive revitalization efforts during the past five years. (CBC)

A 109-year-old park in Winnipeg's Crescentwood neighbourhood has been reborn, thanks to a group of locals who reclaimed it from graffiti, drug deals, and neglect.

Enderton Park, or Peanut Park as it is more commonly known, was established in 1902 when real estate agent Chas H. Enderton created Crescentwood.

What started out as a manicured English garden tucked among elegant homes had faded, in more recent years, into a weed-laden eyesore with dying trees, an overgrown walking path, chained-down and broken benches and a playground scarred with scorch marks from matches and lighters.

Five years ago, area residents decided enough was enough.

A new play structure is part of the enhancements to Peanut Park. (CBC)

They formed Friends of Peanut Park (FPP) and adopted the green space through the city's adopt-a-park program and began soliciting donations and grants, organizing volunteers, landcaping, planting, levelling, replacing dilapidated play equipment and park benches.

Now, a new crushed limestone walking path circles the park's lush lawn, guiding visitors past new flowerbeds and new trees and shrubs, including maples, lilacs and crabapples.

And rather than taking a wide berth around the park, people are going into it — and staying, and playing.

"Yesterday, I walked the dog and there were about 10 girls sitting around on the new sod that we have there playing Crazy Eights [card game] on the grass," said Barbara Parke, an FPP member.

Friends of Peanut Park have raised and contributed more than $80,000 to the park's beautification while Manitoba Hydro has contributed $16,000 for trees, the City of Winnipeg has allocated $110,000, and The Manitoba Community Services Council has approved a grant of over $14,000.

In 2009, the city installed a catch basin to drain the southwest corner, ending years of flooding.

Other improvements include:

  • Demolition of the old play structures and construction of new ones.
  • Installation of underground watering system.
  • Newly-sodded areas where grass was damaged.
  • Installation of new benches and picnic tables.

A barbecue to celebrate the park's renewal is scheduled for Sept. 7. Peanut Park is bordered by Harvard and Yale avenues, Ruskin Row and Avonherst Street.

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