The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has been the moving force behind much of the recent restoration and revitalization of the city's historic downtown, fostering an understanding of the social, cultural, economic, and environmental transformations that have shaped the area. Formed in 1994 to save the Edgewater Hotel, WGHF has continued to fulfill its mission "to preserve our heritage and architecture, while creating new cultural experiences" through:
- the operation of the Heritage Museum and the Central Florida Railroad Museum in both of Winter Garden’s historic railroad depots,
- the restoration and launching of the Garden Theatre (winning a Florida Trust for Preservation Restoration/Rehabilitation award),
- the identification, acquisition, and preservation of important historic structures, documents, and artifacts that document the history of eight west-side cities, communities, and towns,
- the operation of a history research library, and
- publications, educational programming, exhibitions, and cultural festivals benefiting residents, visitors, and future generations.