Peanut Park thrives with a little help from its friends
The neighbours around Peanut Park first formed a tree committee when we created a non-profit association called “Friends of Peanut Park” and adopted “Enderton Park”, which is locally known as Peanut Park. In the adoption arrangement with the city, we agreed to beautify the park with flower gardens, trees, shrubs, and other landscaping.
Initially, the city did some landscaping work, planted we raised money from neighbours and people who grew up around the park to create and plant seven flower beds, which we assigned to seven volunteers to maintain. The first summer was very dry, and we quickly learned that our members were too busy to be out in the park watering their flower bed often enough so that the plants would thrive. Since then, we have raised enough money to pay a garden maintenance company to plant and maintain the flower beds throughout the year.
We discovered the Manitoba Hydro Reforestation program, which gave us two grants over a number of years to plant trees [That program has since changed focus]. We planted tall trees where trees had died, or where there was room to start young trees to fill in as mature trees died, and we added ornamental trees planting, over 70 trees in the park. A large group of volunteers helped plant the trees, and small group kept them watered during dry periods.
Subsequently, we learned that 70% of the trees on our boulevards were either Ash or Elm, and we saw many of them being marked for removal. We approached our councillor, John Orlikow, for a grant to plant trees in the open spots in our boulevards. When the grant was approved, our little tree committee swung into action, identifying homeowners who would promise to water the trees if we planted one in front of their place. In the spring, we planted 55 boulevard trees, and homeowners also bought 32 trees to plant on their own property. Since then, we have been sending out email reminders to water to participating homeowners to confirm that they are watering their trees during dry periods, and the vast majority of the young trees are doing well.
Read more about Friends of Peanut Park’s work:
Tree cleanup could take a year: city forester (Sou’Wester, October 21, 2019)
City gaining little ground in fight against insects: Trees not being replaced as quickly as lost, says City forester (Winnipeg Free Press, May 31, 2019)
Funding granted to tree canopy project (Sou’Wester, February 8, 2019)