"People develop a 'sense of place' through experience and knowledge of a particular area. A sense of place emerges through knowledge of the history, geography and geology of an area, it's flora and fauna, the legends of a place and a growing sense of the land and it's history after living there for a time." Dr Thomas A Woods
Like many people in this industrialized world I no longer live in the place of my birth; indeed, I do not even live in the country of my birth. In the past 30 years, I have lived in Elkhart, Japan and England. Moving around has many benefits, but it can also disconnect you from the physical place in which you live. You can become so bound up with making a new home, making new friends and learning new habits that you do not connect to the actual area you are living in. Being part of the Wellfield family has given me a sense of place in a way my previous community involvement did not.
I joined Wellfield Botanic Gardens as a volunteer and board member in 2010, since then I have weeded, planted, given tours, helped write signs, met many neat people and learned a lot of Elkhart history, both natural and cultural. I am so excited that awareness of and support for the gardens are growing in the community. They offer so much to the people who visit; not only the immediate and present beauty of the plantings, but also the connection to the history of the site and our natural environment.
I am proud to be a charter member of the gardens; the main reason I joined, and the reason I volunteer at the Gardens, is because this place has so much to offer to the community now and in the future. It's beauty and tranquility offer instant gratification and feeling of well-being. It's overlying purpose, “to tirelessly promote the inseparable relationship between water, plants and animals,” will provide a lasting legacy by sowing the seeds of the importance of caring for our natural world.
If you have a chance, visit this special place to see what I am talking about. If you like what you see, please consider becoming part of the Wellfield family by buying a membership; you will be helping to maintain the gardens, fund education and provide entertainment to the community, as well as helping attract visitors to Elkhart. We receive no tax money; we are funded by local organizations, donors and people like you and me. For more information on hours, fees and benefits of membership please visit our website.