Miami Beach is joining the Million Orchid Project to plant thousands of native orchards and reintroduce the beautiful blooms back to the island.
The Million Orchid Project is bringing back the stunning, eye-catching blooms to the urban landscape of Miami Beach.
Once upon a time, Miami Beach was blooming with orchids all throughout the city. It was a natural paradise for the plant, a true tropical oasis filled with lush greenery and native flora in every tree’s nook and crevice. Over a century ago, however, that was abruptly interrupted as people began to sell the flowers for profit. Today, orchid advocates behind the Million Orchid Project aim to change what would have been an environmental tragedy and turn it into a citywide venture to save the native species.
“The Million Orchid Project is a modern twist on conservation,” says Jason Downing, an orchid biologist at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. “Rather than reintroducing these species into the few remaining natural areas, we are focusing on the urban environment of Miami,” he explains.
In addition to the Beach, the organization is also partnering with cities across Miami-Dade, including Bal Harbour, the Miami Design District and Doral.
As for Miami Beach? It plans to plant 20,000 orchids over the next three years. Currently, there are a small number of natives (like the Florida butterfly and cowhorn) that exist, but without the help of the Million Orchid Project, they would not be able to flourish to their full potential.
“By promoting these natives, we not only beautify the city, but help combat biodiversity losses for future generations,” says Downing. It won’t be long till the Magic City is once again brimming with orchid fields forever. fairchildgarden.org