The orchid species collection is a living heritage for the citizens of Edmonton and orchid conservationists around the world. The collection plays a leading role in the complex efforts to conserve species orchids from becoming extinct.
The survival of species orchids in their native environments can act as a flagship or gage as to how well we are conserving and protecting our environment and natural ecosystems (as pandas, black rhinos and white leopards survival rates helps monitor our care of wild animals around the globe).
OSPF supports and endorses the conservation and educational efforts of all orchid conservation groups. In our local area the Wagner Wetland Society is such group. They have purchased several sections of land which contain natural bogs and springs. This property is the home of a multitude of indigenous plants and animals, including many of the 27 natural orchids found in Alberta.
In May of 2004 the OSPF officially opened a dedicated greenhouse for the orchid species collection. The outer shell was originally constructed in 1995 -96 with the funds raised by the Foundation.
In 2001 -2002 sufficient funds had been raised to complete internal plumbing, electrical and mechanical installations.
The greenhouse has a total of 5000 square feet of growing space, a 1200 sq. ft. cool section, 1200 sq. ft. intermediate section and a 2600 sq. ft. warm growing section.
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State of the art mechanical and electronic devices are computer controlled to establish the ideal growing conditions for the rare and endanger orchids in the collection. A high pressure misting system, air conditioning, window screening for the vents and windows are to be added.
A segrigated holding and isolation area are currently being planned to control insects and diseases from entering the greenhouse from plants that have been on display or donated to the collection.
The total current cost of the greenhouse is $700,000.
Funding sources included the Orchid Species Preservation Foundation, CFEP, Edmonton Community Foundation, the City of Edmonton and supporting donors. We thank them for their support.