As part of the upcoming Earth Day celebrations, the GP Grows program is returning for its third year. The program is aimed at educating people about how to grow their own plants, as well as how to protect the environment.
Environmental Outreach Specialist Jessica Foley says she feels the program is important and has a lot to offer anyone that is interested in growing plants.
“We started GP Grows in 2020 and it was developed as a way to engage people in Grande Prairie during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was successful enough that we brought it back a second year and now we’re heading into year three,” she says.
Foley mentions that the program has evolved over the years and she hopes to see the program continue to expand in the future.
“In the first two years, it operated 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 at the Earth Day celebration at Montrose Cultural Centre,” she says.
In addition to the basic program which offers people information on the basics of planting their own garden, there is educational information available and Foley stresses the importance of bees to everyone.
“That was one of the big reasons we are bringing in beekeepers and a live beehive this year. Bees are crucial pollinators for all of the food that we eat. Beyond that, birds, butterflies, and bats are all important pollinators as well,” she says.
Foley says she thinks the biggest success of the program has been hearing great feedback and teaching people about the types of plants they can grow in their own backyard.
“A lot of people don’t realize that you can grow big tomatoes and beautiful zucchini from your own garden. I’d like to continue to highlight the orchards we have throughout the city. I encourage anyone to utilize them, see what is growing there, and harvest the food that comes out of those,” she adds.
For more information on the program, visit the city website.