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Ground breaks on next phase of Veterans Memorial Gardens project

Shovels have made it in the ground to signal the next phase of work on the Veterans Memorial Gardens in Grande Prairie.

The project will see gardens, as well as memorial plaques and an interpretive centre go in around the Afganistan War Monument behind ANAVETS Hall. Project Lead Renee Charbonneau says seeing work begin makes her excited for the future.

“The thought of having kids walking through this property and holding the different ceremonies and services here and that building being here for us to use to host people; that’s just like a dream come true.”

The idea for the gardens and interpretive centre was first announced in December 2016 and began with the construction of the Afganistan War monument which was unveiled in 2017.

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The next phase of work will see the building be delivered and built and water and sewer hooked up. Charbonneau says it’s going to be a crazy few weeks.

“If everything goes to plan and if Mother Nature gives us even the smallest opening we should have a building in place in two weeks which means we will have our own facility in place in time for Indigenous Veterans Day on November 8th.”

The total for the project is currently sitting at $400,000 which Charbonneau says has mostly been covered by grants and contributions from local companies who have offered up workers, services and equipment free of charge.

If the weather cooperates, Charbonneau also hopes to have four gardens and the first 73 soldier information plaques in before winter.

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