Xeric Garden at the Botanical Garden at Museum Hill. Photo by Brian Koehl.
About Santa Fe Botanical Garden
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden features two sites on more than 55 acres: The Botanical Garden at Museum Hill, and the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve in La Cienega. Both sites are open to the public and offer events and education programs for all ages.
The Santa Fe Botanical 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.
Fall in Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve
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. Phase 2 of the garden, Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands, opened in the Fall of 2016 and explores ethnobotany through hands-on experiences and observation. The next phase, Piñon-Juniper Woodland, is made up of 3.25 acres directly adjacent to Ojos y Manos, and is slated to open in 2019. The Woodland will feature walking paths, a Children’s Area, and educational signage on why the piñon-juniper woodland is so crucial to our ecosystem. This recent lease from the State of New Mexico brings the total acres occupied by the Botanical Garden to 20.5.
- 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.
Strategic Plan: Vision 2020
Long term goals and objects for 2015 through 2020. Download and view here >
Letter from Clayton Bass, President & CEO
Dear Botanical Garden Enthusiasts,
Even at 7,000 feet above sea level, spring is arriving in the Santa Fe Botanical Garden and urging our living collections to emerge into bloom. Tiny leaves of minty green are expanding to absorb light and generate more nourishment daily. Growing buds promise to bring beloved colors and textures that we dream about during winter’s cold grip. Spring brings renewal for the natural world, for our senses, and is cause for celebration for humans and animals alike. I hope you will come for a deep infusion of spring at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden soon. Remember, the Botanical Garden at Museum Hill is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. And now, the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve reopens for the summer this month, with admission from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays & Sundays.
During the past year, Garden audiences of all ages have bonded with Dan Ostermiller’s bronze animals, in the Gardens Gone Wild exhibition. It’s hard to imagine, but Dan’s menagerie must move on to their next engagement after the exhibition closes on Mother’s Day, May 12. So take this opportunity to come and send them on their way with best wishes for the joy they have brought to the Botanical Garden audiences. Our deepest appreciation goes to Dan Ostermiller, Nedra and Richard Matteucci at Matteucci Galleries and a special thanks to Dustin Belyeu, gallery director, who co-curated the exhibition. It has been wonderful, wild and a pleasure to share these beautiful wildlife sculptures with the Garden’s visitors. I encourage you to visit these two websites where you can see more of Dan’s works, http://www.danostermiller.com/work/ and https://www.matteucci.com/dan-ostermiller. Enjoy!
Santa Fe is famous world-wide as an artistic community, and I am pleased to announce the Botanical Garden will continue to organize exhibitions and partner with artists and galleries in our city with its new exhibition, the Human Nature: Explorations in Bronze. Featuring the imaginative and contrasting figurative works of Santa Fe master sculptors, Allan Houser and David Pearson, the Garden is also pleased to introduce Jonathan Hertzel—a recent arrival with strong connections to New Mexico—to our audiences. The exhibition opening reception is on Friday, May 24, and opens to the public the next day. Tickets are available in limited in numbers, so visit this link to assure your attendance. I hope you will seize this opportunity to meet the artists and representatives from their galleries, as they share insights into their inspirations and techniques. Visit this link to learn more about the Human Nature exhibition, which continues until May 10, 2020.
If you are a member, be sure to attend the Botanical Garden’s annual meeting on Wednesday, May 8, beginning at 5:30 p.m. It will be a time to celebrate spring, the friendships and community that exists among Garden members, and to measure the remarkable progress accomplished during the first five years of operations of the Botanical Garden at Museum Hill. By working together, our volunteers, members, Board of Directors, and dedicated staff continue to establish this educational organization as a must-see destination on Museum Hill in Santa Fe. The crescendo of the annual meeting will be the ground breaking for the Garden’s third phase, Piñon-Juniper Woodland at 6:30 p.m. Please come and join in the celebration of this next step in the Garden’s growth. Tours of Piñon-Juniper Woodland with Garden staff will be available after the ceremony, and I hope to see you there!
Shakespeare in the Garden’s third season features Romeo & Juliet, produced and directed by our creative partners, Santa Fe Classic Theatre, with its opening night celebration on May 31, and productions continuing nightly through June 9. The Botanical Garden is delighted to continue this beloved of the Bard and appreciates our creative partners. Tickets are selling quickly, but are still available here. Shakespeare is much beloved by Santa Fe audiences, and this most romantic of plays will enchant audiences in one of the most beautiful venues for theater in our fair city. Be sure to experience Romeo & Juliet under the stars!
Thanks for sharing your passion for the Garden with friends and family. I look forward to seeing you in the Garden this spring.
Clayton Bass, President and CEO