Wellington, Florida

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Wellington, Florida
Village of Wellington
"The Winter Equestrian Capital of the World"[1][2][3]
"Unique Hometown, Family Atmosphere, Family Environment"[4] and "A Great Hometown...Let Us Show You!"[5]
Location of Wellington in Palm Beach County, Florida
Location of Wellington in Palm Beach County, Florida
Coordinates: 26°39′18″N 80°15′15″W / 26.65500°N 80.25417°W / 26.65500; -80.25417Coordinates: 26°39′18″N 80°15′15″W / 26.65500°N 80.25417°W / 26.65500; -80.25417
Country United States of America
State Florida
CountyFlag of Palm Beach County, Florida.png Palm Beach
IncorporatedDecember 31, 1995
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorAnne Gerwig [6][7]
 • Vice MayorMichael Drahos
 • CouncilmembersJohn T. McGovern, Michael J. Napoleone & Tanya Siskind
 • Village ManagerPaul Schofield
 • Village ClerkChevelle D. Nubin
 • Village45.41 sq mi (117.62 km2)
 • Land44.97 sq mi (116.46 km2)
 • Water0.45 sq mi (1.16 km2)  .99%
Elevation13 ft (5 m)
 • Village56,508
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,454.36/sq mi (561.53/km2)
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
33411, 33414, 33449, 33467
Area code(s)561
FIPS code12-75812[12]
GNIS feature ID1759737[13]

Wellington is a village just west of West Palm Beach in central Palm Beach County and 66 mi (106 km) north of Miami. As of 2019, the city had a population of 65,398 according to U.S. Census Bureau[11] estimates, making it the most populous village in the state. It is the fifth largest municipality in Palm Beach County by population. Wellington is part of the Miami metropolitan area. Wellington was named one of Money Magazine's "Top 100" Best Places to Live in both 2019 and 2010. Although Wellington is not a village under any standard definition of the term village in the US, it is referred to officially as the "Village of Wellington". The area is also home to The Mall at Wellington Green and a shopping plaza surrounding it.


In the 1950s, Charles Oliver Wellington, an accountant from Massachusetts, purchased about 18,000 acres (73 km2) of central Palm Beach County swampland located south of Florida State Road 80 (locally known as Southern Boulevard) and west of U.S. Route 441. Wellington named the property Flying Cow Ranch, due to his other occupation as an aviator and his initials spelling the word "cow". The ranch became protected against floodwaters from the Everglades after the United States Army Corps of Engineers constructed a levee to south of the property between 1952 and 1953. Following his death in 1959, his son Roger inherited the property. The family sold 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) at $300 per acre to Arthur William "Bink" Glisson, Charles' agent. Glisson sold the land for $1,000 per acre within the following several months. Many other farmers began purchasing or leasing portions of the Flying Cow Ranch in the 1960s. About 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) were used for growing strawberries at one point, which was claimed to be the largest strawberry patch in the world.[15]

After Roger Wellington sold 7,200 acres (29 km2) of land to developer Jim Nall of Fort Lauderdale in 1972, the Palm Beach County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a proposal by the Acme Drainage District for the area to become a planned unit development. Among the first projects included the development of 150 acre (0.61 km2) Lake Wellington and the construction of a golf course, a country club, and residential neighborhoods. Following acquisition of the project in the late 1970s by Gould Florida Inc., the company built the International Polo Club Palm Beach and the Aero Club, a neighborhood with a private airpark.[15] The area's first official population count occurred during the 1980 Census, when Wellington was defined as a Census-designated place. A total of 4,622 people lived there at the time.[16] Wellington functioned as a sprawling bedroom community with few shopping centers or restaurants until the 1990s.[15]

A vote for incorporation of the village of Wellington was held on November 7, 1995, with 3,851 votes in support and 3,713 votes in opposition, a margin of just 138 votes.[17] Wellington officially became a village on December 31, 1995, as a state revenue sharing program required it to exist in 1995 in order to be eligible for funding in 1996. The village became Palm Beach County's 38th municipality and the ninth most populous city in the county at the time, with approximately 28,000 residents.[18] The first village council elections were held on March 12, 1996. None of the candidates for any of the five seats secured a majority of the votes, forcing runoffs to be held on March 26.[19] The first elected village council members were Paul Adams, Michael McDonough, Tom Wenham, Carmine Priore, and Kathy Foster.[20] Two days later, the council held its first meeting and selected Foster for mayor, Priore for vice mayor, and Colin Baenziger for village manager.[21]

It has now become known as an international center for equestrian sports.[22]


Wellington is located at 26°39′18″N 80°15′15″W / 26.65500°N 80.25417°W / 26.65500; -80.25417 (26.655135, −80.254136).[23] According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 31.4 square miles (81 km2), of which 31.0 square miles (80 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) is water (0.99%).


As typical in Palm Beach County and South Florida, Wellington has a tropical climate.

Winters are mild to warm and humidity levels are relatively low. Average high temperatures are around 75 °F (24 °C) and lows around 55 °F (13 °C). It is not unusual though for winter temperatures to reach 83 °F (28 °C).

Summertime is rainy season in South Florida and humidity levels increase dramatically. High temperatures at this time of year are around 92 °F (33 °C) with lows around 75 °F (24 °C).


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)65,398[11]15.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
Wellington Demographics
2010 Census Wellington Palm Beach County Florida
Total population 56,508 1,320,134 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 +47.9% +16.7% +17.6%
Population density 1,258.9/sq mi 670.2/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 80.0% 73.5% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 64.8% 60.1% 57.9%
Black or African-American 10.4% 17.3% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 19.4% 19.0% 22.5%
Asian 3.8% 2.4% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.2% 0.5% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.0% 0.1% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 2.5% 2.3% 2.5%
Some Other Race 3.1% 3.9% 3.6%

As of 2010, there were 22,685 households, with 13.3% being vacant. In 2000, there were 12,938 households, out of which 69.7% were married couples, 47.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.4% were non-families. 13.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.25.

In 2000, the village the population was spread out, with 31.0% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.

As of 2015, the median income for a household in the village was $77,233. The per capita income for the village was $40,726. About 2.9% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2000, 83.52% of residents spoke English as a first language, while 12.18% spoke Spanish, French accounted for 0.98%, French Creole for 0.79%, Italian made up 0.61%, and Vietnamese was the mother tongue of 0.47% of the population.[24]

As of 2000, Wellington had the eighty-fifth highest percentage of Cuban residents in the US, with 3.27% of the village's population.[25]

Parks and recreation[edit]

The Village of Wellington has the following parks:

Wellington provides a number of ball fields.

Beach activities are around a half hour's drive time, due east, to the Palm Beaches. For variety, from Wellington one can access Fort Lauderdale less than one hour away or travel to South Beach approximately a one and half hour's drive.

Equestrian sporting events[edit]

Beezie Madden and Onlight, Grand Prix competition at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, Wellington, Florida.

Wellington is known for its equestrian community and hosting equestrian events, notably show jumping, hunting, dressage and polo.[26]

Wellington is host to the Winter Equestrian Festival, the largest and longest running horse show in the world from January to April.[27] It holds more than forty weeks of equestrian competitions per year. A new expansion includes the Global Dressage Festival. International competitors attend the equestrian events and social event held in the community.[28]

Each year Wellington hosts several high-goal polo tournaments including the USPA Piaget Gold Cup and the Nespresso U.S. Polo Open at the Palm Beach International Polo Club.[29] The International Polo Club was an idea created by players to build a facility to showcase the skills of the ponies and players. The arenas of play include three state-of-the-art playing fields and a stick and ball field. Brunches, charities, corporate events and more are hosted at the International Polo Club in Wellington.

Wellington is also home to The Palm Beach Masters series. A trio of unique events hosted at Deeridge Farms — a stunning location at the heart of equestrian sport in Wellington, Florida. These premium events offers riders, spectators, and sponsors unforgettable hospitality, unrivaled facilities, and world-class showgrounds.[30]

Arts and culture[edit]

Wellington has a large renovated public library [31] and hosts seasonal events such as the annual Top Gun model aircraft show, the Barett-Jackson Auto auction, art and antique shows and holiday parades.[32]

Amphitheater Wellington, Florida

The Coral Sky Amphitheatre regularly hosts musical and film events in their outdoor venue.

The Wellington Amphitheater hosts events like free movie night, musical and comedy performances, the Food Truck Invasion and many more.[33]

Wellington has two regional malls The Mall at Wellington Green, and the Old Wellington Mall along with many other nationally known retailers located in outdoor shopping venues along the major commercial highways.

There are a number of entertainment and cultural venues such as the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the Norton Museum of Art in nearby West Palm Beach.


Wellington's public transportation consists of Palm Tran. It also served by Palm Beach International Airport. Several highways pass through or near Wellington. U.S. Route 441 and State Road 7 jointly cross north-to-south in the eastern side of the village. Lake Worth Road, which is designated as State Road 802 to the east of Route 441/State Road 7, continues westward into Wellington. State Road 882 (locally known as Forest Hill Boulevard) also moves east-west partially through the village, before continuing westward and then northwestward to Southern Boulevard without the designation to the west of Route 441/State Road 7. Southern Boulevard (designated as both U.S. Route 98 and State Road 80), an east-to-west highway, lies just north of the village's northern boundary. Florida's Turnpike passes along the far eastern edge of Wellington, though the nearest entry and exit ramps are located at U.S. Route 98/State Road 80 and State Road 802, outside the municipal limits.


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The School District of Palm Beach County serves Wellington. Public schools in Wellington and schools serving Wellington include:

Public Elementary Schools[edit]

  • Wellington Elementary School
  • New Horizons Elementary School
  • Discovery Key Elementary School
  • Binks Forest Elementary School
  • Elbridge Gale Elementary School
  • Equestrian Trails Elementary School
  • Panther Run Elementary School

Public Middle Schools[edit]

  • Wellington Landings Middle
  • Emerald Cove Middle School
  • Polo Park Middle School

Public High Schools[edit]

Community colleges[edit]

In 2008, Palm Beach State College (PBSC) proposed building a campus in Wellington. The town council voted affirmatively on August 12, 2008, to enter negotiations with the college,[34] before plans fell through the following year. However, PBSC opened a campus in the neighboring town of Loxahatchee Groves in February 2017.[35]

Public libraries[edit]

The Palm Beach County Library System operates the Wellington Branch.[36]

Public safety[edit]

The Village of Wellington receives both fire and police services on a contractual basis from Palm Beach County.

Fire and Emergency Medical Services[edit]

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the citizens of Wellington. There are four fire stations assigned to the village:

  • Station 20 - Engine 20, Rescue 20, Brush 20;
  • Station 25 - Engine 25, Rescue 25, Brush 625;
  • Station 27 - Engine 27, Rescue 27, Brush 27;
  • Station 30 - Engine 30, Rescue 30.

Station 28 in neighboring Royal Palm Beach is the headquarters for Battalion 2, which covers Wellington and the other six Palms West Communities.[37]

Law Enforcement[edit]

Police protection for Wellington is provided by District 8 of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. District 8 operates from a sub-station located in the village, and is staffed by 69 sworn deputies and 5 civilian employees. [38]

Publications and news[edit]

Wellington is serviced by a few different mainstream news publications.[39]

  • The Town-Crier Newspaper: First and longest operating local newspaper serving Wellington, Royal Palm Beach, Loxahatchee Groves, and surrounding areas.
  • Live Wellington: Owned and operated by the Sun Sentinel. Live focuses on news in Wellington.

Notable people[edit]

  • Lou Pai, Former CEO of Enron Energy Services[44][45]
  • See also[edit]


    1. ^ "Welcome to horse town U.S.A, where Wellington, Fla. is the equestrian capital of the world". The Washington Post by Nicole Crowder (January 6, 2015). Retrieved August 1, 2015.
    2. ^ "Palm Beach Polo: Equestrian". palmbeachpolo.com. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
    3. ^ "In a Florida Town, Horses Upstage the Celebrities". The Wall Street Journal by Amy Gamerman on June 23, 2013 4:13 p.m. ET. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
    4. ^ "Village of Wellington: History". Archived from the original on February 5, 2007. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
    5. ^ "Wellington: A Great Hometown...Let Us Show You!". Archived from the original on May 19, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
    6. ^ "February 2016 Voter Guide" (PDF). League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County. February 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016. Anne Gerwig-R
    7. ^ "Mayor Anne Gerwig". Wellington, FL. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
    8. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 2, 2020.
    9. ^ "Wellington, United States Page". Falling Rain Genomics. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
    10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
    11. ^ a b c "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.
    12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
    13. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
    14. ^ a b "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
    15. ^ a b c "Palm Beach County History Online: Wellington". pbchistoryonline.org. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
    16. ^ Characteristics of the Population: Number of inhabitants – Florida (PDF) (Report). United States Census Bureau. February 1982. p. 14. Retrieved July 7, 2018.
    17. ^ Angie Francalancia (November 8, 1995). "Village of Wellington squeaks into being". The Palm Beach Post. p. 96. Retrieved July 7, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
    18. ^ Scott Hiaasen (January 1, 1996). "Flag raises on county's newest city: Wellington". The Palm Beach Post. p. 25. Retrieved July 7, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
    19. ^ Angie Francalancia (March 13, 1996). "Wellington voters will pick again". The Palm Beach Post. p. 95. Retrieved July 7, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
    20. ^ Angie Francalancia (March 27, 1996). "Acme slate rolls in Wellington". The Palm Beach Post. p. 69. Retrieved July 7, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
    21. ^ Angie Francalancia (March 29, 1996). "Foster named mayor, Baenziger manager". The Palm Beach Post. p. 171. Retrieved July 7, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
    22. ^ "108th US Open Polo Championships 2012". Wellingtonpolo.net. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
    23. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
    24. ^ "MLA Data Center Results for Wellington, Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
    25. ^ "Ancestry Map of Cuban Communities". Epodunk.com. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
    26. ^ "Equestrian Community | Wellington, FL". www.wellingtonfl.gov. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
    27. ^ Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
    28. ^ Minnick, Andrew,U.S. Teams Finish 1-2 at Wellington Dressage Nations Cup presented by Stillpoint Farm, USEF Network, April 13, 2013
    29. ^ Palm Beach International Polo Club
    30. ^ "Palm Beach Masters Series". Retrieved January 16, 2019.
    31. ^ Palm Beach County Library
    32. ^ Wellington events
    33. ^ The Wellington Amphitheater
    34. ^ Dwayne Robinson (August 13, 2008). "Wellington to negotiate with PBCC over campus". The Palm Beach Post. p. 3B. Retrieved July 15, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
    35. ^ Scott Travis (February 24, 2017). "Palm Beach State opens long-awaited western campus". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
    36. ^ "Wellington Branch (Wellington)." Palm Beach County Library System. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
    37. ^ http://www.pbcfr.org
    38. ^ http://www.www.pbso.org/our-communities/western-regional-bureau/d8/
    39. ^ Wellington Newspapers, Walkabout Wellington
    40. ^ "Amy Fisher Article on WalkAboutWellington". WalkAboutWellington.com. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
    41. ^ Bill Gates Buys Home in Wellington, FL
    42. ^ "Committee Details". United States Equestrian Foundation. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
    43. ^ "Grump's Dream Course: Quickie - PART 53 - Game Grumps VS". Game Grumps. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
    44. ^ [1] [2] [3]
    45. ^ some more information on Canaan Ranch: [4] [5] [6] Archived 2015-01-09 at the Wayback Machine

    External links[edit]