The GP Grows program returns for the third consecutive year

As part of the upcoming Earth Day celebrations, the GP Grows program returns for its third year. The program aims to educate people on how to grow their own plants, as well as how to protect the environment.

Environmental Awareness Specialist Jessica Foley says she thinks the program is important and has a lot to offer anyone interested in growing plants.

“We launched GP Grows in 2020 and it was developed as a way to engage the people of Grande Prairie during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was successful enough that we brought it back for a second year and we’re now heading into year three,” she says.

Foley says the program has evolved over the years and she hopes to see the program continue to grow in the future.

“For the first two years, it functioned as a curbside pickup for flowers and vegetables that you could grow, harvest and eat. This year we have a variety of seeds available that allow you to create your own garden, which will be available during the Earth Day celebration at the Montrose Cultural Centre,” she says.

In addition to the basic program which provides people with information on the basics of planting their own garden, educational information is available and Foley stresses the importance of bees for everyone.

“That’s one of the main reasons we’re bringing in beekeepers and a live hive this year. Bees are essential pollinators for all the food we eat. Beyond that, birds, butterflies and bats are also important pollinators,” she says.

Foley says she thinks the biggest success of the program has been hearing great feedback and teaching people the types of plants they can grow in their own backyards.

“A lot of people don’t realize that you can grow big tomatoes and beautiful zucchini in your own garden. I would like to continue showcasing the orchards we have all over town. I encourage everyone to use it, see what’s growing there and harvest the food that comes out of it,” she adds.

For more information on the program, visit the city website.

Ryan H. Bowman