About Santa Fe Botanical Garden

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.

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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

December 2019

Happy Holidays to you all! During 2019, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden has achieved many new heights in delivering educational programs for all ages, and in overall attendance statistics. It will be exciting to report our year-end numbers with you in the coming New Year. Thanks for sharing your loyal support this year, and for being ambassadors on behalf of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden to your friends, family members and business contacts. Although the Garden markets itself across all media outlets, there is nothing like the personal endorsement of word of mouth in building deep engagement with our community and visitors from beyond New Mexico.

If fact, the Botanical Garden benefits greatly from the growing awareness, sense of ownership and interest in our two sites from our community, with 50% of our annual visitors calling the Santa Fe metro area home. For a city with such large tourism numbers, engaging half of our annual visitors from our hometown is a big deal, and demonstrates the Garden is forging both a strong local connection and a growing reputation from visitors from afar. This is an admirable audience balance, and one that many of our peer Santa Fe institutions struggle to achieve. I thank you for playing an important role in this success by spreading the word of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden.

Beginning this year, the artful illumination of GLOW Botanica – A Winter Lights Event expands its footprint on the calendar to meet the growing demand for this beloved Santa Fe tradition. Now in its seventh year, GLOW will occur on 19 evenings during December, on weekends and selected nights through New Year’s Eve! With GLOW Botanica, the event incorporates many of Santa Fe finest artists into this celebration of light. Featured artists with illuminated works for 2019 include Bill Barrett, David DeStafeno, Robert Drummond, Candyce Garrett, Jonathan Hertzel, Allan Houser, David Pearson, Victoria Rabinowe, Christopher Short and Kathy Taslitz.

To secure your tickets and for more information about GLOW Botanica visit this page. GLOW is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, featuring an impressive and varied line up of Santa Fe’s finest musicians nightly. Plus that jolly man in red will hold court in the Children’s Tent through December 23, when he must depart for a previous engagement. Plan to join in the fun and be dazzled by the brilliant beauty of GLOW Botanica. I look forward to seeing you there.

In closing, I hope you will consider sharing the Santa Fe Botanical Garden with a friend or loved one by gifting an annual membership to the Garden. Your gift will continue to provide a myriad of generous benefits across the seasons. Gift memberships are available at all member levels. Contact Nicole Kliebert, Member and Donor Relations Coordinator, at nicole@santafebotanicalgarden.org for more information about a gift membership.  Also, please consider including the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in your year-end giving plans. The growing generosity of our supporters continues to expand the Garden’s capacity to deliver innovative environmental education to all ages throughout the year. For more information please click here, and thanks for considering this opportunity to support the Botanical Garden’s mission.

With my deepest appreciation,

Clayton Bass, President & CEO


Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a proud member of the American Public Gardens Association, American Alliance of Museums, American Horticultural Society, Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, Sentinel Plant Network, and Museum Hill Partners.



Santa Fe Botanical Garden

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art

Museum of International Folk Art

Museum of New Mexico Foundation

International Folk Art Market/Santa Fe

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian

Museum of Indian Arts & Culture

National Park Service

Santa Fe Community Educators Network

Press & Media Contact

For information and hi-res images, please contact Lindsay Taylor, Marketing & PR Director: lindsay@santafebotanicalgarden.org, (505) 471-9103 ext 7.