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Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance to Welcome Photographer Dave Graff to Third Thursday, 4/18

Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance to Welcome Photographer Dave Graff to Third Thursday, 4/18

They call it "Fakahatchee Fever" - the irresistible urge to immerse oneself in the beauty and wilds of the Fakahatchee Strand - and Dave Graff has acquired an incurable strain, causing an acute passion for "some of nature's most improbable plants;" orchids... some of which call this enticing swamp their home.

The Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance invites you to attend its Third Thursday Orchid Event on April 18, 2013 when Dave Graff presents his unique visual perspective about Southwest Florida's native orchids.

Dave Graff is a Florida Master Naturalist instructor who has been teaching about our region's environments for more than 15 years. After earning his degree in photo-communication and psychology, he spent four years in the Peace Corps as a health educator and environmental education specialist in West Africa before devoting himself to the natural wonders of south Florida. His compelling photographs convey the beauty, fragility, and improbable existence, of some of the flowered jewels that can be found in Collier County, including its swamps.

The Fakahatchee Strand in Southwest Florida is the orchid and bromeliad capital of North America where 44 native orchids and 14 native bromeliad species co-exist with panthers, white-tailed deer, black bears, minks, terrapins and snakes - as well as a resident and migratory bird population that attracts bird watchers from all over the world. All this bio-diversity is contained within a twenty-mile by five-mile swath of land that has been sculpted by centuries of fresh slow-moving water - the very key to its existence. This alluring swamp has historically offered protection to many of our native orchid species. Land-use changes and over-collecting have threatened many species of orchids, but there are several projects currently working to improve some orchid populations.

Come and enjoy the beauty of these orchids and learn how everyday human actions, or inactions, affect the survival of these special plants; and how we can improve our own local environment by improving theirs. This program is offered as part of the Alliance's community outreach efforts to inspire others to learn about orchids and orchid conservation.
The Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance, a new non-profit formed in 2012, strives to empower its members with orchid knowledge by providing educational opportunities where beginners to advanced hobbyists exchange information and ideas in an enjoyable and enthusiastic atmosphere.

Mark your calendar for this exciting event. For information, call (239) 498-9741 or visit www.GulfCoastOrchidAlliance.com. The Alliance welcomes new members.

The Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance is committed to promoting interest in orchids by providing educational opportunities to learn about orchid culture in an enthusiastic, enjoyable, supportive and inclusive environment where beginners to advanced hobbyists can exchange orchid information and ideas. GCOA reaches out to the community, inspiring others to learn about orchids and orchid conservation.

What: Third Thursday Member Event
When: "Third Thursday" April 18, 2013, 6:30-8:30 P.M.
Presentation: Naturalist Photographer Dave Graff: The Native Orchids of Southwest Florida
Location: Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church, 1255 Piper Blvd., Naples FL 34110
(Look for the tall steeples across from Sam's Club on Immokalee Road.)
Cost: Guests are welcome at no cost! Annual Membership: $25 Individual, $45 Joint, Under-18 Free

Pictured: Yellow Helmet Orchid © Dave Graff

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