The Million Orchid Project
Fairchild is propagating 1,000,000 native, rare orchids and planting them in urban landscapes throughout metropolitan Miami-Dade County. Orchids are grown from seed in our micropropagation lab, with tremendous assistance from volunteers, graduate students, and K-12 students. This citizen science project is unique in its scale, experimental nature, focus on public spaces, and involvement with the local community from the beginning. We have enlisted more than 200 schools to grow orchids in their classrooms and surrounding neighborhoods and are working with 15 local municipalities and neighborhoods. We also operate STEMLab, a mobile orchid propagation lab that brings state-of-the-art science to local middle schools who are also growing the orchids.
Growing Beyond Earth
Fairchild partners with NASA’s Exploration Research and Technology Programs to create classroom-based botany activities for grades 6-12. Growing Beyond Earth is a series of experiments designed to advance NASA research on growing plants on spacecraft. Students evaluate varieties of edible plants, including rare tropical vegetables, in equipment similar to the growing environment aboard the International Space Station. Through their research, students have identified edible plants that are good candidates for growing in space. Two of these edible plants, 'Dragoon' and 'Extra Dwarf Pak Choi' are now growing on the ISS. NASA scientists are using student data to plan future missions to Mars.
BioTECH High School Magnet
Fairchild partners with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and created the first high school in the United States that allows students to specialize in botany. Opened in 2014, BioTECH is a public magnet high school. The curriculum emphasizes a botany track that includes university-level plant science coursework and independent research. In all grades, students use Fairchild's plant collections, classrooms, and labs. The goal is to place graduating students in higher education plant science programs.
Living Collection & Plant Conservation
Fairchild has a living collection of more than 3,500 tropical plant species within its 100 acre landscape and farm. Many are rare, and some are nearly extinct in the wild. Fairchild is safeguarding species from extinction while making them available for science, teaching and home gardens. With its warm, nearly frost-free climate, Fairchild can grow a wide variety of plants from countries throughout the tropics. Over its 80 year history, Fairchild has derived a uniquely valuable bank of data on tropical botany and horticulture from its living collection, which we share with our members, guests and other scientists and institutions.
The Beauty of Fairchild
The Garden, with its innovative and impactful science education programs, is also an Edenesque oasis. The beauty and tranquility beguile the buzzing activity from its professional, volunteer and student scientists that help create an unmatched experience for members and guests. With its world-famous Phillips landscape design and its unparalleled horticultural practices, it's no wonder Fairchild is considered among the most beautiful gardens in the world.