New trees and shrubs have been planted outside of Grande Prairie Regional Hospital as part of a $100,000 donation to the Hospital Foundation by International Paper.
Hospital Foundation Major Gifts Officer Dawn Miller feels the new natural amenities will make a big difference.
“We’ve got some beautiful grounds at the hospital, with courtyards and walkways in the surrounding area that connect to Muskoseepi Park. Last year, International Paper put in some shrubs and beautified the QEII. As we were talking, they wanted to continue that support for the new hospital,” she explains.
“They’ve planted some larger trees in the surrounding areas around the hospital. We do have some trees in our courtyards as of now. International Paper has been so generous to the foundation and we appreciate their support.”
The company is supplying the trees and working with the foundation to provide some fruit trees as well.
“Those include raspberry bushes and saskatoon berry bushes, which will be put in the Indigenous garden. They’re willing to work with us and the horticulturalist in terms of how we can add more plants to the hospital grounds for the courtyards and more,” she says.
Miller feels that these trees and shrubs are not just important for the look of the hospital, but also important for those visiting the hospital for different reasons.
“It’s all part of wellness. You spend a lot of time at the hospital if you have a loved one there. It’s nice to be able to get out and enjoy the sun,” says Miller. “The other day, there was a family out there having a picnic and a birthday party with their grandmother. They’re not all able to gather in the room due to COVID-19 restrictions, but they are able to go outside for that purpose.”
A total of 20 trees and shrubs have been planted at the hospital. These are also very important for staff at the hospital.
“Our staff uses those areas just as much as patients and family. We’re finding that everyone is using those outdoor areas a lot and really enjoying the spaces we have,” she adds.
Miller adds in addition to the trees, and other work that has wrapped up since the hospital opened to the public, more amenities are still on the radar.
“We would like to add a little bit more to the outdoor courtyard outside the Mental Health Unit. We’re working with donors to create a little more inviting space for them so they can have barbecues and other things in the fenced-in area. We also want to expand our White Rose program and provide a room with specific comforts for a family that is going through the end-of-life process with their loved one.”
A ceremony was held on Wednesday at the hospital, with Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton, among others in attendance.