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Photo Courtesy of Equality Garden Club and Chuck Nicholls

Wilton Manors Island City Orchid Project

By Chuck Nicholls

Over the past 150 years South Florida was a tropical paradise where native orchids were found in abundance in undeveloped land and hammocks. Beginning in the late 1980’s the Florida East Coast Railroad brought not only the development of urban real estate and agriculture, but also collectors who raped the trees of orchids by the millions that were then shipped up North by railway and sold and subsequently died. As a consequence, native orchids dwindled in South Florida.

Equality Garden Club (EGC) is working to restore some of South Florida’s rare and endangered orchid species into our urban landscape, specifically to Richardson Historic Park and Nature Preserve in Wilton Manors, Florida. This project is part of the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden’s “Million Orchid Project” (MOP) to help populate South Florida with native orchids.

EGC will install and maintain 1,000 Florida native orchids during the spring and summer of 2021, which includes

  • Coordinating and direct volunteer efforts during planting of the orchids
  • Providing education and outreach in the community
  • Engaging community members in habitat restoration projects, providing resources like native plants and communicating through websites and social media
Equality Garden Club _ Photo of Native Orchids
Photo Courtesy of Equality Garden Club and Chuck Nicholls

For further information: or contact Chuck Nicholls at We are asking the public for funds to help make this happen. The EGC website has a go-fund-me page for those wishing to contribute.

Equality Garden Club _ Photo of Native Orchids
Photo Courtesy of Equality Garden Club and Chuck Nicholls

About Equality Garden Club

EGC is a non-for-profit organization established in 2010. Our mission is to provide education, resources, and networking opportunities for its members and to promote the love of plant-related sciences and activities, general gardening, civic and environmental responsibility. EGC’s major fundraising program is A Tropical Plant Fair that allows them to fund local and community initiatives.

About Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society

The purpose of the Society is to stimulate interest, provide education, and enable the exchange of information among those interested in the culture of orchids in all its aspects. In 1983, the Society was recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit organization, exempt from federal income tax.

About Richardson Historic Park & Nature Preserve

This 5+ acre public garden contains native and other plants that attract birds and butterflies. It contains over 100 varieties of native butterfly wildflowers and trees, shrubs, and plants. The park is located at 1937 Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors, Florida, and is one of the more than 200+ properties in Wilton Manors which are registered with the National Wildlife Federation as Wildlife Habitats.