Winnipeggers take on landscaping as pandemic project

By | May 17, 2020

WINNIPEG — The weather is warming up, and summer is on its way to Winnipeg, but many are wondering if they’ll get a chance to enjoy it.

With the province’s state of emergency being extended an extra 30 days starting May 17, some Winnipeggers are expecting to be home for most of the summer.

Sandy Bamforth was at Home Depot buying wicker baskets and begonias for her backyard.

She works in the medical field and said she plans to stay home as often as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re fortunate we’ve got a nice backyard and a fire pit,” said Bamforth. “So, we can spend as much time back there as we need to.”

She said she’s buying plants and other items to make her backyard look more pleasurable to spend time in, and her neighbours are doing the same.

“I’ve seen a lot of work in our neighbour’s yards, making new fire pit areas, stone, and decks,” said Bamforth. “A lot of people are gearing up just to spend the summer in the backyard.”

Kevin Kroetsch, the owner of Kro-Bert Landscaping, said he’s seen a 40 per cent increase in landscaping estimates compared to last year.

He said many of his customers are motivated by the same factor.

“It’s all kind of the same, people are planning on spending more time in their yards this year, and want to spruce it up,” said Kroetsch.

On Friday, the city announced it was expanding its Permits Online service to help homeowners manage outdoor renovation projects. 

Previously, the service was only available to contractors and licensed professionals. Now, homeowners can use the service to get permits for projects like a detached garage, deck, carport, outdoor pool, or hot tub.

City of Winnipeg staff process Permits Online applications Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

While not doing a major remodel, Bamforth is looking forward to spending time in her yard this summer.

She believes Manitoba is doing a good job flattening the curve of COVID-19.

“A lot of people are listening,” said Bamforth.”You go out when you have to go out, but if you have a backyard that you can enjoy, it’s safer.” 

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