City of Grande Prairie launches phase two of gardening program

The City of Grande Prairie opened phase two of GP Grows for registration on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. This phase features an outdoor gardening starter pack. Supplied / Daily Herald-Tribune

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The popular GP Grows has returned for its second phase and is introducing a variety of seeds for residents to begin an outdoor vegetable garden.

Registration opened Wednesday and is free for city residents with a limit of one supply kit per household. Instructions and FAQs for how to get started will be emailed out to registrants.

Michelle Gairdner, energy management and environmental stewardship manager with the City of Grande Prairie, said over 250 people had signed up for the second phase of the program within the first 30 minutes of launch.

Gairdner said phase two is offering just shy of 3,000 kits to residents, unlike phase one, which launched with roughly 500 kits and later added more due to high demand.

Materials being provided to participants this time around include a seed potato, zucchini seeds and a five gallon root pale full of soil, supplied by Dunvegan Gardens.

“Once those spots are full, they’re full. We don’t have any more supplies,” said Gairdner.

“When Dunvegan ordered the pails, they talked to the supplier and they bought every root pail that the supplier had. It’s not like last time where we started out with 500 and expanded—this time we’re at our capacity and can’t make any more (starter kits).”

Upon registration, participants can choose a drive-through time slot to pick up their starter kits. Any participants with accessibility needs can contact the Citizen Contact Centre (780-538-0300) to arrange for a curbside delivery.

Each pickup option will follow strict physical distancing guidelines to ensure the safety of residents and city staff.

“People will drive in behind the Eastlink Centre, using the Knowledge Way west entrance and go down to the front of the Coca-Cola Centre where we will have eight stations set up,” said Gairdner.

“We will place the pale in the back of the vehicle, so people will have to come with their vehicles prepared to accept the five gallon pale.”

Registration and pickup will be available until the end of Monday.

Everyone participating in GP Grows is encouraged to continue to share their photos of their gardens on social media using #GPGrows.