Vision, Mission, Brief History, and Financial Reporting
Our Vision: We accept as truth that humans are inseparable from nature. The Gardens will strive to provide a shared natural and made environment of unique beauty that attracts, inspires, and educates in a setting dedicated to the celebration of nature, art, and community.
The Mission of Wellfield Botanic Gardens is to celebrate the inseparable relationship between water and life, inspire creativity and lifelong learning, foster stewardship of our natural world, and grow community.
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.
Wellfield Botanic Gardens is open year-round. Activities include special events and festivals, workshops and educational opportunities, a summer concert series, winter wonderland holiday lights, and seasonal programming and exhibits. Facilities may be rented for private events including weddings, anniversaries, and celebrations of life. Annual attendance was over 60,000 in 2020, and Winter Wonderland Holiday Lights draws over 20,000 guests in the month of December!
We believe in financial transparency and are willing to share information to those who inquire. 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.