May 20, 2020
QUILT GARDENS PROVIDING SAFE WAY TO ENJOY BEAUTY IN SUMMER 2020
ELKHART — The 2020 edition of the Quilt Gardens is the ultimate reminder that love and beauty still prevail in Elkhart County, Ind., providing a safe, gorgeous and relaxing refuge from the stresses of day-to-day life.
For 16 Quilt Gardens sites and four Quilt Mural displays spanning Bristol, Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee and Wakarusa, this is their love note to the community and the world.
Even with the uncertainties presented by the coronavirus pandemic, there is no question that the Quilt Gardens and Quilt Murals would return to bring beauty, peace and serenity for a 13th year.
“Middlebury is our hometown. We are more than a series of homes, we are a collection of families and loved ones that are knit together by the memories, joys, and experiences we have established over the course of a lifetime,” said Lance Miller of Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, home of the largest of the 16 Quilt Gardens and an original Quilt Gardens site.
Planting of the Quilt Gardens began the week of May 18. Each of the Quilt Gardens sites officially open for the season on May 30 and are available for viewing free to the public till September 15, when the season closes. The state of Indiana’s Back on Track Indiana plan for reopening allows restaurants, shops and tourist attractions such as museums to operate within limits through at least July 4, 2020. Visitors should check with the Elkhart County Visitor Center at 800-262-8161 or a particular business on whether it is open and its hours of operation.
Each of the Quilt Gardens sites are planned, planted, watered, fed and weeded by approximately 200 community volunteers who love where they live. It is a true labor of love and an attraction beloved by the residents of Elkhart County’s cities and towns since the Quilt Gardens started in 2008.
“The love flows from the countless hours the volunteers put in, the conversations they strike up and the actual prayers and love inserted into our garden,” said Jeff Kitson of the Nappanee Center Quilt Garden.
The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail is the ideal way to enjoy these stunning works of public art while also maintaining safe physical distance from others and complying with other recommendations from health officials.
You can enjoy the Quilt Gardens at your own pace while also visiting the cities and towns along the Heritage Trail audio driving tour. The Heritage Trail connects communities in the Elkhart County area with a one-of-a-kind experience that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own car. Visitors can choose to stop and experience the people and places of Elkhart County where they like.
“Our quilt pattern is simple and a reminder of focusing on the simple things in life. The beautiful flowers symbolize resilience,” said Julie Parke of the Elkhart County Historical Museum’s Quilt Garden.
This year’s Quilt Gardens represent the incredible creativity and talent of Elkhart County’s makers and showcase the rich stories of our cities’ and town’s heritage and present-day vibrancy. There are a million-plus blooms across 19,600 square feet of gardens, all planted in quilt patterns. One Quilt Gardens site at the Elkhart Environmental Center is new in 2020. The other 15 are returning from 2019 and one, Das Dutchman Essenhaus, has been a Quilt Garden site since the beginning.
The Quilt Gardens is a project coordinated by the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau in collaboration with the Quilt Gardens sites and each of our six cities and towns.
The Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official tourism advertising/marketing and public/community relations organization for the Elkhart County hospitality industry. The ECCVB advances quality-of-place initiatives in our downtowns and rural spaces, parks and natural environment, arts and culture, and events, festivals, groups and activities that help forge social connections.