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

December 2016


Dear Botanical Garden Enthusiasts,

Happy New Year! Many thanks for your commitment to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in 2016. The dedication of our supporters made last year one of the Garden’s most dynamic steps forward both in growth of new facilities, program excellence, and number of audiences served. The opening of the Garden’s second phase, Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands Garden, has redefined the educational capacity and visitor experience at the Botanical Garden. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who has given gifts to make this new garden a reality.

The expanded Botanical Garden presents many amazing new possibilities in 2017. Just imagine the richness of programs in the Berlin Gathering Place throughout the seasons. Planning is being finalized on expanded favorite offerings like the Sunset: After Hours in the Garden series, which runs from May through October. The Botanical Garden’s major fundraising Solstice event in June will reach across both phases of the Garden with dazzling delights. Also, stay tuned for more information about the Botanical Garden’s much anticipated new Shakespeare In the Garden performances during the summer.  More news will be coming soon in Clippings and on the Garden website.

GLOW: Luna – Sol in 2016 continued to expand and secure its place in Santa Fe as a “must do” experience during the holidays for all ages. It is thrilling to see our community embrace this new artful illumination of the Garden. Words can hardly express my deepest appreciation to the GLOW volunteers and staff for their work throughout the year and during the event. When it comes to GLOW, it truly takes a village, but the results are amazing for our community. GLOW director, Sarah Spearman, deserves a huge shout out for her efforts to organize and market the event! Next year brings a new GLOW theme, yet to be announced, but it will be very different and beautiful to behold. I look forward to seeing you there!

In closing, thanks again for your commitment to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. If you have not already done so, please consider making a donation to the Garden’s Year-End Appeal and to the Public Phase of the Ojos y Manos campaign. Both initiatives are critical to the Garden’s ongoing ability to serve this wonderful community. Contact Rachel Loomis, Development Director, at for information about making a gift. I look forward to providing an update on both efforts in the February Clippings.

With my deepest appreciation,

Clayton Bass, CEO


Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a proud member of the American Public Gardens Association and the American Alliance of Museums. APGA_member_rgb Santa-Fe-Chamber-of-Commerce-Logo