published August 4, 2011

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Please Join With Us to Save Our Native Orchids

We have reached the halfway point. Please continue to send in your donations. We can reach our goal!
Green Swamp - © Greg Allikas
Platanthera blephariglottis and
Sarracenia flava photographed
at the Green Swamp.

Goal: $10,040
Appeal Activity Report: 8/1/2011 thru 5/25/2012
Amount Raised: $10,048
Supporters: 81 gifts from 61 donors

Because the habitats and ecosystems where wild growing orchids live are increasingly under threat, the AOS will be highlighting worthy, vetted conservation projects that the membership can support directly through their contributions utilizing a new approach known as crowd funding.

By using the internet to reach out to a large number of people we can combine many – even small – contributions to have a meaningful impact; power through numbers. Participating members can take ownership and be integral to the success of the projects. If your society is participating in the OCC 1% for conservation program, this will allow your group to contribute to valid habitat projects that have merit and a chance for a meaningful impact.

We are working with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to assist them with a management project of property they own in North Carolina known as the Myrtle Head Savanna, a part of the ecologically rich Green Swamp. This is a remarkable and ecologically important area in which our collective support can help to resuscitate and sustain a critical habitat for native orchids, as well as numerous other plant and animal species. I strongly encourage you to participate in this communal project by contributing in any way you can to help reach our financial goal of $10,040.

I hope that you as individuals or your local society will be able to support this effort generously and be able to take pride in protecting orchids in the wild. Please use the buttons below to donate $5, $10 or $20 or use the write-in form below to donate any desired amount through *PayPal. Even small amounts add up to large numbers when it comes to conservation!

You Can Help Save the Myrtle Head Savanna Orchids

It is just miles from the Atlantic Ocean, but Myrtle Head Savanna is a completely different world. A 72 acre remnant long leaf pine savanna, Myrtle Head is a part of the greater Green Swamp in Brunswick County, NC. Acquired from the Georgia Pacific Corporation in 1990, this parcel was of specific interest to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) due to its biological significance and biodiversity rating as designated by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program (NCNHP). Additionally, Myrtle Head Savanna is nearly adjacent to the Juniper Creek Gamelands protected by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission (NCWRC), and to the Columbus County Gamelands (NCWRC). Currently there are several large restoration efforts occurring on the abovementioned protected lands. TNC wrote a site management plan for the entire savanna in 2009.

From a technical point of view, the preserve encompasses an unusual pine savanna natural community (very wet clay variant) on non-alluvial flatland, intermingled with patches of small stream swamp. Abundant ecotonal habitat also exists where the two communities grade into one another. Although the area was damaged by logging in the late 1980’s, the pine savanna community retains most of its character and has shown natural recruitment of Long Leaf Pine (Pinus palustris). There are many orchids within the savanna that bloom spring through autumn, including the Giant Spiral Orchid (Spiranthes longilabris).The savanna also has a large cluster of rare plant species including a large population of the endangered Cooley’s Meadowrue (Thalictrum cooleyi) and Carolina Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia caroliniana).The herbaceous community is dominated by Wireleaf Dropseed (Sporobolus teretifolius), a very rare grass currently known on only ten sites globally.

There have been several botanical surveys done on the property. Orchids found in Myrtle Head Savanna are: Platanthera blephariglottis, Platanthera cilaris,Calopogon pallidus, Calopogon barbatus, Cleistesiopsis bifaria, Cleistesiopsis divaricata, Pogonia ophioglossoides, Spiranthes longilabrisand Spiranthes praecox.

Due to fire suppression beginning in the early 1900’s, the wet savanna has begun to fill in with shrubs, shading out and imperiling the orchids and other savanna plants. With your assistance, funding would be used to implement the restoration of this significant savanna through controlled burning and mechanical removal of shrubs and trees to create the open savanna habitat that historically existed at the preserve and crucial for these plants to thrive.

Please join us in our campaign.

When using the "Any Amount" form, be sure to enter TNC in the description field and enter the amount you wish to donate in the "item price" field. Thank you!
* If you do not have a PayPal account, click on "continue checkout" (lower left), next page use credit card input form on left side.