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By BRETT SHWEKY
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL |
JUN 23, 2020 AT 11:18 AM
The city of Oakland Park has partnered with several organizations to help it select and plant thousands of native orchids at the Stunson Nature Trail, 1701 NW 38th St.
With the intent of displaying appreciation to those on the front lines during the pandemic, Oakland Park is also allowing the public to participate in the Parade of Orchids project by adopting an orchid for $5 in the name or organization they wish to recognize. Donations may be made at the Parade of Orchids project GoFundMe page.
“This project will create a beautiful and harmonious space of reflection,” Oakland Park Mayor Matthew Sparks said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” he said.
The Parade of Orchids project has already collected $4,235 of its $10,000 goal as of June 23. As part of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens The Million Orchid Project, the initiative will help the Coral Gables-based garden reintroduce millions of native orchids to South Florida urban landscapes.
Currently, native orchids only exist in small numbers and require programs such as the one in Oakland Park to successfully reintroduce them back to the area. The species of native orchids to be planted include the Florida Butterfly Orchid, Night Fragrant Epidendrum, Spotted Mule Eared Orchid, Florida Oncidium and the Pine Pink Orchid.
The Stunson Nature Trail, a native wetlands restoration preserve, was named in honor of Oakland Park’s late city manager John Stunson. Opened in 2018, the 5-acre parcel of natural wetlands provides a safe haven for wildlife and breeding habitat for birds.