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School for autistic children takes over Orchid Society gardens

October 28, 2011 04:11PM

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American Orchid Society
A school for autistic children will replace the American Orchid Society’s gardens and greenhouse near Delray Beach, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The gardens have been struggling for some time as membership dwindled from about 30,000 to 11,000 in just the last few years. In fact, the garden nearly closed in 2009.

Without the means to maintain the building and insurance on it, the AOS sold the land to the Sandra C. Solmin Foundation and Family Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.

The foundation plans to open a 66-student day care facility next year and eventually an 88-seat elementary school.

Autism advocates say these education facilities are needed for families struggling to raise children with the disorder and tout this as a great location because the gardens and greenhouse can be incorporated into programs and therapy.

As a result the school will keep the gardens and greenhouse, but will close it to the public. [Sun Sentinel]