Chelsea Botanical Gardens is a 501(c)(3) organization managed by a volunteer board of directors that meets monthly.

Currently, the Gardens consist of 80-acres of prime, native land in Norwich's historic 400-acre Mohegan Park. During the past several years numerous studies have been financed and completed: an archeological dig, environmental and transportation studies, marketing report and legal review, wetlands mapping, and flora/fauna survey.

The Master Plan of the Gardens, completed by Denig Design Associates, Inc., of Northampton, MA, will be developed in five major phases. It is estimated that the Gardens will take 20 years to construct, with various areas phased in as funding allows.

Drawings of Phase 1A, prepared by CLA Engineers, Inc., of Norwich, were accepted by the Gardens' board of directors and presented to the Norwich City Council in October 2010. Phase 1A will cost $18 million to $20 million. 

Funding for Phase 1A will be generated through grants, endowments, corporate and private donations, bonding, and fundraising events. As the permitting phase nears, an updated, more concise business plan will be developed. Phase 1A should be completed in 2 years.

The importance of Chelsea Gardens to Norwich and surrounding areas cannot be underestimated:
  • The direct economic impact for Phase 1A is estimated at $2.7 million annually with projected admissions of 175,000-200,000 during the first year.
  • Area restaurants, motels, and other service industries will be direct beneficiaries of the tourist influx.
  • Plantings, garden and construction supplies will be purchased from local businesses whenever possible.
  • Full-time and part-time help will be hired from within the community.
  • An international gardening school will provide myriad employment and educational opportunities.
  • The gardens will be compatible with the local climate and topography of the park.
  • Aesthetic value is vitally important in enhancing quality of life.


Board of Directors:
Hugh Schnip, President
Robert Reed, Past President
Brandon Hyde, Vice President
Peter Maneri, C.P.A. Treasurer
Laurie Eng, Secretary
John Bilda
Mary Edgar
Ben Lathrop
Jennifer Johnson
Kathryn Lord
Theodore Phillips II, Esq.
Linda Turner