There is a new green space for patients, visitors, and community members to see at the QEII Hospital in Grande Prairie.

The International Paper Garden is outside the hospital’s main entrance and home to roughly 150 trees and shrubs.

International Paper donated funds for the new garden bed. Along with the help of Tree Canada and the Arbour Day Foundation, they planted roughly 150 trees in front of the hospital.

Grande Prairie Mill Manager Tom Macker says as a new resident of the city, he hopes to help bring positive change to the community.

He says helping to provide green spaces for the community is very important to him as he believes people staying at the hospital deserve a beautiful space.

“When folks are in this hospital, they’re coming here for different reasons…sometimes it’s to visit someone, but sometimes they’re here because they need the help and the assistance from a hospital,” he says. “Do you want to give them this blacktop, concrete look?”

Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation Major Gifts Officer Dawn Miller says the garden bed was originally there but it needed a little bit of TLC and, because of the pandemic, they were unable to plant flowers this year.

“It’s really nice we have something new and green that the staff can say we have something we can go and look at,” she says.

“We had a couple of these large flower beds that needed a little bit of refurbishing and upgrading,” she adds.

Miller hopes the new garden at the QEII Hospital will brighten the main entrance up so patients and families can look out their windows.

“We want the patients and families and staff to still have nice green spaces, and provide a little bit of shade.”

Miller says the plan is to have green spaces at the new hospital as well in hopes of bringing the green space full circle with both hospitals in the city.

“We have a commitment to creating some more green space at the new hospital as well, so it’ll have a picnic area and stuff like that.”

“We don’t want to forget about our QEII, it’s still a really good hospital and we will have it for a long time,” she adds.

Staff at the hospital have already noticed patients going outside and looking at the new garden.