Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut-Shaped Park

A media release announcing “Mr. Peanut Goes to Washington!” was nutty enough to work. Like those saddled with an anxiety invoking peanut allergy, not everyone will be able to stomach a peanut park, or the blatant corporate sponsorship, but D.C. residents will soon have a new park as a result.

Children in Lincoln Heights might think they've swallowed a bad sandwich, if they happen to spot Mr. Peanut’s Nutmobile (think Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, but a peanut) zipping around the Northeast neighborhood today.

Joining Mr. Peanut in Northeast were Mayor Gray and Congresswoman Norton; the crew was not hashing out the sticky details of a subsidized peanut butter bill, but instead showing support for a collaboration by Planters and The Corps Network to gift Washington D.C. with a peanut-shaped urban park, and tree-planting event.

D.C. is one of three communities nationwide to receive a peanut-shaped park, and also one stop for the Nutmobile on its 16-city 2011 tour. Notable chunks: the supersized vehicle runs on biodiesel and features smooth interior flooring made from wood yanked from a 170-year-old barn.

Located at 50th and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, this new “Planters Grove” peanut-shaped park was designed by New York-based landscape architect Ken Smith and will be surrounded by a greater area of tree canopy once the community-planted fruit and nut trees (39), and serviceberry trees (37) mature.

The focal point of the park, the peanut, is lined by free-standing porch columns that accentuate the delicious hour-glass shape.

Azaleas will border the columns, not only giving a nubby peanut-shell perimeter to the park, but will “note the beginning of America’s urban environmental movement, which began when Lady Bird Johnson responded to the plea of local eight-year-old John Hatcher for azalea bushes for his housing development.”

How many people will run after the Nutmobile, mistakenly thinking that Mr. Peanut is (as he should be) hawking PB&J, as the newest member of D.C.'s growing fleet of food trucks?

Washington D.C. real estate development news


Anonymous said...

It was hard to sift through all the cutesy language in this post to decipher what is actually going on. Is anyone else disturbed by a corporation making a park on public land that is essentially an advertisement for their product?

Anonymous said...

I know I am!

Especially in a park that honors DC native son Marvin Gaye.

Anonymous said...

Marvin Gaye Park is actually a sprawling series of green spaces along Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue. The main part of the park is off Division and is where the children's playground. This part of the park is near 50th, and was pretty much just used for drugs after the other parts got cleaned up a bit

Anonymous said...

That explains the peanut mobile that's been parked at 4850 Leesburg Pike, Alexandria, Virginia for the past week...

Anonymous said...

This is the peanut industry's answer to trying to change kid's perception that peanuts are harmful to their friends/themselves! It's like a confusing mixed message and undoing awareness and vigilance by the food allergy community. Peanuts kill kids. One third of EVERY peanut reaction is FATAL. Way to go DC. Bought again.

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