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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDate: June 16, 2020Contact: David Rafter at 954-630-4207 (office) or 954-907-6757 (mobile)
OAKLAND PARK, FL…(June 16, 2020) -- The City of Oakland Park is showing its appreciation for the many public servants, family, friends, medical professionals, religious and civic leaders, and everyone who has been of service during these challenging times with a "Parade of Orchids" at Stunson Nature Trail.
Oakland Park has partnered with several organizations to assist in the selection and planting of a colorful array of native orchids, including Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society, Equality Garden Club, Urban Farming Institute, and the City’s Community Volunteer Corps to plant thousands of native orchids throughout the serene Stunson Nature Trail adjacent to Royal Palm Park.
“John was a true nature lover who cherished the outdoors,” said Shelley Stunson, wife of the late City Manager John Stunson. “Our family is pleased that the trail named in his honor will be enhanced with so many beautiful orchids. We hope people of all ages will visit and appreciate how something so breathtaking was made possible by the kindness of so many.”
Oakland Park’s Parade of Orchids is part of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s “The Million Orchid Project” to reintroduce millions of native orchids to South Florida’s urban landscapes. South Florida’s native orchids currently exist in such small numbers that they have little hope of recovering without programs such as the one in Oakland Park.
“This project will create a beautiful and harmonious space of reflection,” said Oakland Park Mayor Matthew Sparks. “We envision the orchids as a stunning tribute to the first responders, medical professionals, and Oakland Park employees whose commitment to serving our community has never wavered.”The public can also participate in this program by adopting an orchid for just $5.00 in the name of the person or organization they wish to recognize.
“Whether you donate one orchid or a dozen, we hope everyone will leave a message of gratitude to the person or group they wish to thank,” said Mayor Sparks.
To learn how you can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Parade of Orchids at Stunson Nature Trail, visit the Parade of Orchids page on the City’s website or call the City’s Parks and Leisure Services Department at 954-630-4500.
About Stunson Nature Trail:The Stunson Nature Trail and native wetlands restoration preserve named in honor of Oakland Park’s late City Manager Mr. John Stunson opened in 2018. The City’s administration worked together with Royal Palm neighborhood leaders and the Broward County School Board to secure the lease to preserve this 5-acre parcel of natural wetlands habitat for a nature trail. This preserve features five eco-zones carefully nature-scaped with a variety of native plant species providing a safe haven for wildlife and breeding habitat for birds. When you visit, it is important to note this landscaped trail is ever evolving. Nature moves at her own pace, and the variety of flora planted will bloom and blossom during the different seasons of the year.