In July, the District will get its very first park—-and one of only four in the nation!—-shaped like a peanut. Why the odd configuration? In homage to its sponsor, of course: Planters Nuts, owned by giant Kraft Foods. The launch event for “Planters Grove” will include company brass and their Nutmobile, which has been traveling the country spreading the leguminous gospel.
Rapidly-improving Marvin Gaye Park, at 50th Street and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE, is as good a place as any for some creative landscaping. But Planters, which declined to disclose how much it’s spending on the project, may not have had much choice in their site selection. A bill passed by the D.C. Council this spring allowing for corporate sponsorship of city parks doesn’t go into effect until October 1, and the National Park Service’s prohibition on advertising isn’t going away anytime soon. So the company went and found a piece of land operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation that’s owned by the federal government, but not under the Park Service’s jurisdiction, for their peanut-shaped promo.
Consider it a harbinger of things to come.