A project to reintroduce flowering plants to your home

Lee High Acres

In nature, there are ways to replenish yourself even in the most difficult situations. It is the hope that hundreds of orchids will be planted at the Goodlad & Swank Insurance of Lee High Acres.

Dr. Jason Downing of the Million Orchid Project at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens in Miami drove a plant native to Florida all the way from South Florida for planting.

“We are trying to bring the lost one million orchids back to nature. These are native orchids that were once here but were lost due to poaching and loss of habitat,” Dr. Downing said. Says.

The Million Orchid Project is the country’s largest educational outreach program specializing in orchid protection. Over 20 community partners and hundreds of schools provide sanctuaries for flowers native to Florida.

Dr. Downing says the orchids once grew up in trees throughout Florida before the Florida East Coast Railway passed in the late 1800s.

Butch Swank provided his business as a site for nearly 500 orchids.

“We are trying to make it happen in places where they are not uncommon. If we get up enough in one place, they have babies and basically everyone in the neighborhood has a free orchid. You can keep it, “Swank said.

Swank says his father, Ralph, has always enjoyed orchids, and a gift from one of his clients inspired the idea of ​​planting hundreds of orchids in his insurance office.

“He’s generous enough to share some of this and we can have some of what he has. He’s won multiple awards. It’s a great plant. Yes, it’s very rare, “Swank said.

Rare and now paying close attention, Swank has already planned to water them and keep them growing.

“Manatees, bald eagles. I mean you name it. It’s unusual and beautiful, and if you want to protect it, it’s just human nature.” Swank said.

Bring the beauty of one orchid back to southwest Florida at a time.

If you want to participate Million Orchid ProjectContact Dr. Jason Downing [email protected]

A project to reintroduce flowering plants to your home

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