American Orchid Society closes doors to public

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The American Orchid Society is closing its Florida headquarters to visitors to save money.

Executive Director Jim Jordan says the society will close public access to its gardens and greenhouses on 3.5 acres near Delray Beach in May. He blames the closure on declining membership and endowments hit by the financial crisis.

The society has more than 17,000 members worldwide. Its greenhouses and gardens contain about 15,000 varieties of orchids.

Jordan says the society will be able to support orchid education, conservation and research if it doesn't have to "subsidize activities that touch so few people."

Jordan says the gardens could reopen when the economy improves.

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