In 2013, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden established the Million Orchid Project (MOP), now the largest public outreach program focused on orchids in the world. The program is propagating rare and native orchids and planting them into urban landscapes in greater Miami, Florida, USA. Through the MOP we seek to establish sustainable populations of orchids in a wide variety of urban settings, especially in the places where people inhabit. From its inception, schools, hospitals, parks, and trees have been the primary recipients of the reintroduction initiative. The Million Orchid Project is unique in its scale, its exclusive focus on public landscapes, and its involvement of students and local communities throughout the restoration process. Since 2015, the Million Orchid Project has been successful in establishing these plants into the environment. To date we have successfully planted over 100,000 orchids throughout south Florida with the ultimate goal of reestablishing one million plants in the region.
At its core, The Million Orchid Project represents a massive science experiment that allows us to make important discoveries about how orchids grow and reproduce. Additionally, the techniques used through The Million Orchid Project may help us develop more general strategies for rescuing rare plants within a highly developed urban environments.