EDUCATION, CONSERVATION AND RESEARCH IS SHARED MISSION
Two recognized leaders in conservation, education, and research are joining forces to ensure the perpetuation and appreciation of orchids in North America and throughout the world. The venerable 90-year old American Orchid Society (AOS) in Palm Beach County, known for its passion for orchids through education, conservation, and research, is moving its international headquarters to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, the acclaimed conservation and education-based botanic garden and a recognized international leader in both Florida and international conservation.
“The AOS move and strategic partnership with Fairchild Garden will move the North American center for education and tourism regarding orchids to Miami-Dade County,” said Bruce Greer, President of the Board of Trustees at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. “We are especially excited about the educational and research opportunities on one campus in Fairchild’s soon-to-be-completed Science Village.”
The AOS outstanding collection of rare orchids will be used for teaching and will be displayed in Fairchild Garden’s new 12,500-square foot Clinton Family Conservatory as part of the DiMare Science Village scheduled to open December 2012. In partnership with the AOS, Fairchild Garden’s annual international Orchid Festival, which celebrates the orchid family with a show in the Garden House and outdoor sales tents by exhibitors, will expand and be greatly enhanced.
The enthusiasm for orchids, the largest family of flowering plants, kindled in the 18th Century and has never waned. The AOS, which also promotes excellence in orchid culture and hybridization through its esteemed awards system, will bring to Fairchild Garden its more than 15,000 varieties of orchids and continue to publish its monthly magazine, Orchids.
“The missions of AOS and Fairchild Garden are perfectly aligned,” said Ron McHatton, Chief Operating Officer of AOS. “With Fairchild’s international reputation, we have found a financially strong, solid strategic partner equally focused on horticulture, education and conservation.” Both groups will remain independent and autonomous, fulfilling their own missions, sharing administrative space in Fairchild Garden’s corporate offices.
Founded in 1921, the AOS has more than 10,000 members and 600 affiliated orchid societies around the world, with several of those societies located in the South Florida region. The Society moved to Florida from Massachusetts in 1984.
Founded in 1938, Fairchild has more than 45,000 members. For over three decades, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has effectively educated and inspired hundreds of thousands of students and members of the community throughout South Florida and the U.S. Fairchild’s education programs provide unique opportunities for students of all ages to learn about the natural world, appreciate the beauty and value of nature, and promote environmental literacy and stewardship. Using the environment as an integrating concept, Fairchild offers a diversity of programs for students in grades pre-K through 12 that aim to enhance science education through interdisciplinary, inquiry-based learning. These programs are the result of cooperative efforts, led by seasoned educators on staff and involving input from program volunteers, teachers, students, science and curriculum specialists from Miami Dade County, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Florida International University, the University of Florida, the USDA and Fairchild’s research and horticulture staff. For more information, visit www.fairchildgarden.org.
SOURCE Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden