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                                          A Statement of our Purpose and Community Service Record

             Prepared February 15, 2019

The Orchid Society of Arizona, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to community service and the study of orchids.  OSA provides free assistance to any group requesting a program presentation.


Since April, 1995, OSA has introduced 4300 Arizona school children to orchids, as well as presented programs for 25 senior centers, various garden clubs, the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, various Maricopa County Libraries, the Arizona State Veteran Home in Phoenix, the VA Medical Center in Phoenix, and the Northern Arizona Veteran's Administration Health Care System in Prescott.


And since 1999, our school program team has traveled to Landers, CA, and presented repotting classes for visitors to the Morongo Basin Orchid Festival held at Gubler Orchids Nursery.


All community service programs begin with a display of various blooming orchids loaned by the members who grew the plants, for the programs.  For adult audiences, part of our program is a doorprize drawing of an orchid plant.  For school children, OSA purchases orchid seedlings so that the children may have hands-on experience potting orchids.  We also instruct the students how to make a mini-greenhouse out of a plastic gallon milk jug.  OSA donates all of the plants, potting supplies, and culture books used in the programs. (To date OSA has donated over 4200 plants to students in Kindergarten through 9th grade. This represents a sizeable investment, but we believe our money has been well spent because we who present the programs, have witnessed the joy the plants bring to the children and adults learning about orchids.)  Activities Directors, librarians, and teachers will validate the therapeutic and educational value of introducing audiences to orchids.  Also, it is OSA's sincere hope that by exposing children at an early age to orchids, that we have the opportunity to implant an idea among one or more students to go on to become botanists!


The goal of our programs is to dispel the notions that orchids are difficult to grow and that they are expensive.  Any person can successfully grow orchids in a home environment.  No other plant family is as diverse as the orchid family or as colorful, and no other houseplants offer flowers that can remain in bloom for months.


OSA's mission is to help the non-greenhouse grower select plants that will do well in his/her growing environment.  We stress the need for reading how-to-grow books, talking with veteran orchid growers, exercising common sense, and for being creative in devising a suitable growing environment for orchids.


OSA is a non-competitive group. This affords us the opportunity to have fun and be creative. OSA has an ambitious goal: to impart the joy of growing orchids to anyone and everyone who will listen.  Absolutely anyone can experience the satisfaction that results from growing and blooming orchids.  The person who wins a free orchid, receives a gift orchid plant, or who spends a small sum of money for an orchid, receives as much pleasure as does the grower who is able to spend a great deal of money to purchase plants.  


In 1996, OSA donated a collection of orchid reference works to the Phoenix Public Library.  This donation makes it possible for more members of the community to access an otherwise unavailable resource.


OSA has awarded two scholarships to Arizona students majoring in Botany at Northern Arizona University, three scholarships to NAU students majoring in Forestry, and two scholarships to PhD candidates at the University of Arizona.  Also, OSA donated funds to Hopi Native American student interns to produce an educational handbook of flora and fauna that are of cultural significance on the Hopi Indian Reservation. OSA intends to continue to provide financial assistance for Arizona students.


Additionally, OSA has donated funds for scientific expeditions made by world-renowned orchid taxonomists.


OSA was established in 1962.  For further information, telephone Julie Rathbun at (602) 843-0223 or email:




                     Visit OSA's web site at


Meetings are held the 1st Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Arizona State Veteran Home, 4141 S. Herrera Way, Phoenix.             












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