National Public Gardens Day is an annual celebration of the nation’s public gardens. On Saturday, May 9, Wellfield Botanic Gardens will join communities throughout the United States by participating in this celebration for the first time.
Presented by the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), National Public Gardens Day encourages communities nationwide to explore the beauty of their local green spaces and to learn how their public garden plays its part in promoting environmental stewardship and education.
Wellfield Botanic Gardens seeks to be a shining example of the unique beauty and natural character our community has to offer. Our gardens are a creation of the vision, work ethic and generosity of our entrepreneurial and caring community. Much of the early success our gardens has enjoyed has been due to the strong case a small group of committed individuals were able to make that the establishment of a garden in our community would add to the quality of life in terms of cultural and educational amenities available, by helping to attract tourism, and by elevating our community’s pride in, and stewardship of its environment.
We are excited to continue contributing to this important narrative by developing not only more world-class gardens, but also more activities and programs for our community to enjoy. This summer we will be opening three new gardens that will appeal to all ages and preferences. By mid-June, we will have completed our Waterfall Garden, Sensory Garden and Adventure Path. Our part-time education coordinator will be scheduling activities and programs for not only youth and families, but also for the more seasoned gardeners in our community. And we’re also very excited about the continuing construction on our Children’s Garden, which we hope will be open sometime in 2015.
As our culture becomes more and more reliant on technology, media and urbanization, Public Gardens are becoming even more important to our community. It is necessary for communities to have an escape to beautiful natural places. Public gardens are a fun destination for families, couples, and enthusiasts, offering a low-cost, entertaining and beautiful local outing while providing a much-needed respite from the busy, stressful lives that so many of us lead.
There are many exciting things happening in Elkhart right now, and it is clear that our community is on the verge of writing a new and exciting chapter in its rich history. From the impact of David Gundlach's $125 million gift to the Elkhart County Community Foundation to SoMa movement, there are countless examples of people genuinely invested in our community’s future. Wellfield Botanic Gardens is excited to do its part in helping people appreciate the importance of creating a high quality of place not for just us, but for future generations to enjoy as well.
An appreciation for the importance of these efforts does not happen immediately. For many, like me, it starts with celebrating National Public Garden Day at your local public garden. It starts with going outside, leaving your phone at home, slowing down, breathing deeper and escaping into the natural beauty all around us.
See you in the Garden on May 9th!
Steve Germani is executive director of Wellfield Botanic Gardens in Elkhart. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org