Want to See Thousands of Orchid Blooms? Spend A Day At Purdon
Visiting the Purdon Conservation Area (near Ottawa) is a great way to improve your mental and physical health: take your kids on self-guided hikes through an uplands (hardwood) forest and see a real Canadian beaver pond. Enjoy “extreme” birding along the boardwalk of a rare Fen wetland and see endangered species regenerating, like the tree-kissing Woodpecker and butternut trees.
For three weeks in June, you’ll even get to see Joe Purdon’s legacy, and an inspiring example of fostering growth on your land: the famous fen of Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchids. Mr. Purdon discovered a small cluster of native orchids in the 1930’s and grew the colony to over 16 000 blooms. His generous deed teaches the importance of nourishing the land to improve life for residents who arrive after you.
Bloom Update – Thank you to everyone who visited the Purdon Conservation Area. The orchid bloom season is now over. We hope you will come again next year to see the beautiful Showy Lady Slippers. The conservation area is still open from dawn until dusk for you to walk the boardwalk and trails.
From the end of Spring to the beginning of Fall, the Purdon Conservation Area (Ontario) is open Dawn till Dusk, Monday through Sunday.
- Free parking.
- Admission by donation.
- Fully accessible boardwalk, washroom, parking and picnic area.
- Check out the complete list of amenities or get an overview of Purdon’s terrain and trails with this printable Purdon Conservation Area Trail Map.
Printable Brochures for Self Guided Tours
Orchid Colony Management
MVCA manages the colony based on recommendations outlined in the Purdon Conservation Area management plan most recently updated in 2006, A New Management Plan for the Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchid (Ted Mosquin, Liz Brown 2006).
The active management of the site consists of some tree clearing to allow more light into the fen, water level management through beaver pond also known as Purdon Lake, and hand pollination. These orchids don’t attract insects like other flowers; hand pollination helps ensure the seeds are propagated.
It can take up to 15 years for new plants to bloom so measuring of progress can be a slow process. This summer a group of orchid specialists will undertake a full census of the fen to record the number of blooms this season. This is done once every five years to track bloom success on the site.
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Mississippi River Watershed conditions returning to normal
June 12, 2015 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY WATERSHED—Water levels in most of the rivers and lakes across the Mississippi River watershed have returned to normal as a result of the rainfall received over the last two weeks. As there are still a few lakes that are below normal, residents are advised to use caution when venturing out on unfamiliar water courses.
Although conditions are returning to normal, MVCA strongly urges residents in the Mississippi River watershed to be wise in their consumption of potable water. Using rain barrels to capture any rain to water lawns and gardens and avoiding using pressure washers to clean houses, driveways, decks and fences, all contribute to the conservation of this extremely valuable resource. For more water conservation tips visit www.mvc.on.ca.
Daily water levels and flows are available on the MVCA website at www.mvc.on.ca.
The Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority flood forecasting and warning program monitors weather conditions, snowpack water content, estimates expected river flows and water levels and issues flood advisories or warnings as required. MVCA provides early warning and continuous monitoring to municipal and provincial emergency response personnel through a flood event.