Annual plant sale returns to Hiland women’s prison
EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (KTUU) - An unusual plant sale in Eagle River kicked off on Tuesday — unusual in the sense that it takes place in a prison parking lot and all the plants are grown by inmates.
The Hiland Mountain Correctional Center plant sale has been a regular fixture for more than three decades. Superintendent Brandon Jones said inmates grow the plants from seeds in the correctional center’s horticultural program and learn valuable skills along the way.
“It’s a privilege to be part of the program because it’s a big responsibility,” Jones said. “They have to be able and willing to commit time, especially at the front end of the plant sale and the month prior to it, up to 10 hours a day in shifts, caring for these plants and pruning them and getting them ready for display.”
Jones said COVID-19 put a little twist in things this year, but one that shoppers will most likely enjoy.
“With shipping delays, we weren’t able to get all the plastic pots and planters that were ordered, so Point (Mackenzie) Correctional Farm built all these cedar boxes, planters and hanging baskets for us so that’s what you’ll see out this year that’s different,” Jones said.
Proceeds from the plant sale go back into the horticulture program. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday at 9101 Hesterberg Road in Eagle River, but Jones says there’s a good chance the flowers won’t last through the end of the week.
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