Old Barn Hall
the Gateway to the Alaska Highway, Grande Prairie is a thoroughly modern city of
over 55,000 people, with shopping and cultural amenities equal to those of much
larger centers. Recreation within the Grande Prairie area provide hiking,
golfing, bird watching, boating, swimming, as well as some of the best sport
fishing and hunting around. Located 450 kilometers northwest of Edmonton and 160
kilometers east of the Rocky Mountains, Grande Prairie
is just a short drive from some of the most picturesque scenery in the country.
You can explore Kakwa Falls, a 27 meter natural wonder southwest of Grande
Prairie. Or how about Kleskun Hills, a prehistoric river delta dating back 70
million years. What ever your interest Grande Prairie's hospitality is sure to
bring you back for more.
The Trumpeter Swan has been adopted as the wildlife symbol of Grande Prairie.
That is why Grande Prairie is also known as the "Swan City".
Numerous pristine lakes in the Grande Prairie region provide the breeding
grounds for what is now one of the largest populations of Trumpeter Swans in
North America. These extensive and fruitful nesting areas contribute
significantly to the successful rearing of young, and to the resulting
population recovery of this largest and most magnificent of all water birds.
Prairie is located in Alberta's Peace Country, so named for the Peace River
which flows through it. European settlement of the Peace Country dates back to
1770 when the first fur traders entered the region. In the mid-1800's, Father
Emile Grouard was so impressed with the large expanse of untreed land around
lake Saskatoon that he named the area 'la grande prairie. Originally a Hudson
Bay trading post in 1881, the village of Grande Prairie was established in 1911.
A large surge of settlers arrived in the 1930's as farmers from
the drought stricken southern prairies came north to farm the moister soils of
the Peace. The region currently produces more grain, for example, than the
entire province of Manitoba.
discovery of oil at Leduc, Alberta, in 1947, ignited a series of explorations
leading to the discovery of bountiful reserves of oil and natural gas in the
Peace. As the reserves were exploited the economy expanded and the region's
population increased dramatically. Grande Prairie's community was then
incorporated as a City in 1958.
Strategically located in a vast expanse of fertile land to the north, east, and
west, the settlement quickly grew into the most important wholesale and retail
center for the Peace region.
Prairie contains over 55,000 people. The County of Grande Prairie, and the
smaller towns of Sexsmith, Wembley, Hythe, and Beaverlodge, contribute an
additional 20,000+ people, for an overall total of over 60,000 people. As a
service center to northwest Alberta, the City serves a market area in excess of
200,000 people within a 200 kilometer radius.
Grande Prairie is situated amidst rolling prairie and aspen-poplar
forest. The prairie to the north, east, and west, contain good farmland. The
aspen/poplar forest to the south and west becomes coniferous as the land rises
to the foothills and mountains. The forest serves as a vast reservoir for the
local pulp and lumber industries.
The mountains west of Grande Prairie are lower than in the rest
of the province. This allows Pacific air to enter the region with less
modification resulting in greater precipitation than is the case in southern and
central Alberta. Grande Prairie is also subject to warm Chinook winds which
moderate winter temperatures.
The combination of a longer than average (for its latitude) frost
free periods, ample
precipitation, and arable soils, explains why the Peace region is one of the
most northerly and productive agricultural areas of North America.
To discover more about Grande Prairie and area, We highly recommend you check
out a local website dedicated to the entire Peace Country. Developed by Ken
Connors, this website is very informative and showcases the whole Peace Country
Region on one site.