Purdon Conservation Area is a Site to See

See thousands of orchid blooms along accessible boardwalk, hike through uplands forest


 For immediate release

June 16, 2017, Carleton Place — The famous Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchids that Purdon Conservation Area is known for are right on track for their mid-June bloom. As of today, the orchids are at 10 percent bloom.

“Father’s Day weekend is our benchmark for the peak bloom period to start and the orchids have fared well despite this spring’s extreme rainfall amounts,” said Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) Community Relations Coordinator Shannon Gutoskie. “This idyllic site is home to the largest colony of Showy Lady’s Slipper Orchids in Canada and we welcome visitors from near and far to take in one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County.”

The orchid colony, which consists of more than 16,000 blooms, exists today thanks to the care and cultivation of Mr. Joe Purdon—the conservation area is a truly amazing legacy of this local stewardship pioneer. After purchasing the property in 1984 with the help of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, MVCA pledged to preserve the site for public enjoyment.

The conservation authority cares for the colony following a management plan created by Ted Mosquin, a well-known ecologist, who has volunteered his expertise since the mid-1980’s. The active management of the site consists of some tree clearing to allow more light into the fen, water level management through the beaver pond (also known as Purdon Lake) and hand pollination.

“Located north of the village of Lanark off County Road 8, visitors can stroll along the boardwalk for an up close view of the flowers, identify plants and wildlife through interpretive signs, discover the woodland that surrounds the wetland and orchid colony by walking the 1.3 kilometre forest trail and stop for a rest and a picnic beside Purdon Lake,” boasts Gutoskie. “The boardwalk, parking lot and washrooms are wheelchair accessible and bus tours are welcome.”

For more information, including maps and directions, visit www.mvc.on.ca/places-to-see/purdon/. Admission is by donation. For the latest updates, call our hotline at 613-253-1756 and choose option 4.

MVCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario. Formed in 1968, MVCA’s mandate is to manage the watershed’s resources in partnership with our eleven member municipalities and the Province of Ontario. For more information, visit www.mvc.on.ca, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.


Shannon Gutoskie
Community Relations Coordinator
613-253-0006 ext. 225

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