The Garden’s Mission

The Santa Fe Botanical Garden celebrates, cultivates and conserves the rich botanical heritage and biodiversity of our region. In partnership with nature, we demonstrate our commitment through education, community service, presentation of the arts, and the sustainable management of our nature preserve and public garden.


It began in 1987 as a vision of a small group of local gardeners, botanists and environmentally oriented citizens to establish a botanical garden in Santa Fe.  This garden has become a valuable resource to our area through educational programs and service to the community.

Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve

Their vision grew, and in 1993 the Santa Fe Botanical Garden entered into a long-term lease with the trustees of El Rancho de las Golondrinas for the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve. This 35-acre site with its spring fed pond and remarkable diversity of plants and wildlife quickly became the focus of much of the organization’s educational programming. Dedicated volunteers spent countless hours removing exotic and invasive plants, restoring the habitat through revegetation and ensuring that the pond remain a healthy environment for riparian plants, birds and invertebrates.

Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill

In December 2006 eleven acres of land were acquired on a long-term lease from the City of Santa Fe for the development of a botanical garden at Museum Hill. Nationally recognized landscape architect W. Gary Smith was hired to create a master plan for the new garden. Following an intensive review process, the master plan was approved by the City of Santa Fe in 2011. Additional acreage was leased from the City of Santa Fe and the State of New Mexico bringing the total to 14 acres in 2013. Phase 1, the Orchard Gardens, opened in July 2013 attracting 18,000 visitors during the first six months of operations. A visitor center and Phase 2, Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands, are scheduled to open in 2016.

Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve

The 1,350-acre Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve was acquired by the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in 2001. After assuming stewardship, volunteers and staff worked to make the Preserve accessible to visitors through the addition of a network of trails and a visitors’ kiosk.  The County of Santa Fe purchased the land in 2007.  Santa Fe Botanical Garden managed and provided programming for the Preserve until 2015, when County Open Space took over management.

Letter from Clayton Bass, CEO

February 2016

Dear Botanical Garden Enthusiasts,

It may be winter but we’re still busy here at the Garden! Wintertime gives us a time to reflect upon this past year and we are so thankful for your generous support for the Garden throughout 2015. As members and supporters you serve a critical role as ambassadors by sharing your passion for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, thus expanding our audience and community participation. Always remember how much we value and depend upon your involvement with the Botanical Garden.

Among the many highlights of 2015, the groundbreaking for the Botanical Garden’s Phase Two – Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands, continues the next step in the realization of the Museum Hill Garden master plan. Projected to open in early autumn of 2016, this new phase will dramatically expand the visitor experience and our capacity to provide an engaging “learning landscape” for all ages. Stay tuned for monthly updates in Clippings about the Garden’s exciting growth.

It was a year of expanded community engagement including the launch of the popular new monthly Sunset – After Hours in the Garden series from May through October. Our educational programming and marketing collaboration with the Museum Hill Partners during the Summer of Color significantly boosted attendance to all Museum Hill venues, and established a new tradition of Museum Hill Community Day with free admission, which attracted over 3,250 combined visitors in a single day. Both of these new events continue in 2016 and specific dates will be released soon.

Other 2015 highlights included record breaking Summer Solstice and Harvest Dinners fundraisers, an enchanting GLOW – A Winter Lights Event in the Garden, great success and new product lines in the Garden Shop, growing educational programs offered at both the Museum Hill and Leonora Curtin Wetlands Preserve sites, and the premiere of the Power of Place sculpture exhibition. We are still assessing 2015 statistics but look forward to sharing those with you in upcoming Clippings.

The Botanical Garden’s Winter Lecture Series is off to a great beginning. On February 11 at 3:00 p.m. don’t miss Painting Central Park with Roger Pasquier at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture auditorium. Roger will take us on an adventure through his compelling new book about the Park’s ongoing impact upon fine arts since its establishment in 1857. For more information visit our website. A third Central Park themed lecture by Bonnie Joseph will follow in March. Remember, these are ticketed events with limited seating, so don’t delay!

Thanks again for making 2015 such an extraordinary year at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. With the opening of Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands, 2016 is poised to reach even greater heights!

Clayton Bass, CEO



Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a proud member of the American Public Gardens Association and the American Alliance of Museums.