Sunday, April 9, 2017

Tom Mirenda - Orchids of Columbia

Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 7:45pm

A vast country and an orchid paradise, most people have been a little put off by Colombia’s rough reputation.
But the days of Pablo Escobar are over and for the orchid hunter, there may literally be no finer place to see a fantastic array of species orchids. Journey with Tom as he visits Cali and Medellin where he judges some of the finest and largest orchid shows in in the Americas. There, in turn, we encounter some of the finest and largest examples of very rare species ever exhibited. No trip to Colombia would be complete without trekking to   see some nurseries and wild orchid habitat too! A wide selection of choice orchids from shows nurseries and the wild will be featured.

Tom Mirenda has been an Orchid Collection Specialist in Washington DC for the last 16 years. There he cares for and curates an extremely diverse collection of orchid species and hybrids from all over the world. Active in developing and producing huge educational exhibits using the collection plants and visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Trained originally as a Marine Biologist, Tom made the switch to plants and orchids in his late 20s while living in Hawaii. Since then he has worked with orchids at NY Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and an extensive private collection at Greentree Estate in Long Island. Tom was also the floor manager at the New York International orchid Show for many years  during this period. For the last 11 years, Tom has contributed two columns each month for ORCHIDs magazine and is developing a new book based on those writings. Tom travels frequently around the US and internationally making presentations to diverse audiences, from scientists to the general public, about orchid ecology, pollination biology, strategies for orchid conservation. He is passionate about seeking collaboration between the worlds of Botanic Gardens, the hobbyist community, commercial growers and scientists to work together toward the goal of protecting orchids and their habitats. Currently working on a project to coordinate and centralize North American orchid conservation efforts, Tom hopes to extend the influence to other parts of the world where orchids are imperiled.

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