Mission and History

The Mission of Wellfield Botanic Gardens is to:

  • Promote the inseparable relationship between water, plants and animals;
  • Inspire creativity and education while celebrating nature;
  • Foster stewardship for the natural world;
  • Bring people together and build community; and
  • Provide a spiritual richness to life that is an essential part of being human.

A Brief History
The Elkhart Rotary Club conceived the Gardens as a community service project in 2002 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Rotary International. The project was officially handed over to the Wellfield Botanic Gardens Board of Directors in 2005 to begin implementation of the Master Plan, which envisages 25 themed garden and event spaces, as well as a visitors center and guest amenities.  Construction began in 2006 with the first earth-moving work to reshape and reconfigure the ponds.

36 acres in size, half of which are water, Wellfield resides on a historical piece of property originally known as the “North Main Street Well Field.” The property has been a source of hydraulic energy and drinking water for the City of Elkhart since the mid-1800s. Wellfield Botanic Gardens has a long-term lease agreement with the City of Elkhart, which still owns and operates 13 active wells on the site, providing the majority of drinking water for the community.

A 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, Wellfield Botanic Gardens derives all operating capital, development costs and endowment from private donations, earned revenue, memberships and grants.