About SFBG

/About SFBG
About SFBG 2017-06-30T21:04:10+00:00

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.

Strategic Plan: Vision 2020

Long term goals and objects for 2015 through 2020. Download and view here >

Letter from Clayton Bass, President & CEO

 July 2017

Dear Botanical Garden Enthusiasts,

Thank you for checking in monthly to read this update and the many informative articles within the Botanical Garden’s e-newsletter, Clippings. Your interest and support of the Botanical Garden means a lot and makes a difference in networking and building our growing community of supporters. I am often asked a version of this question: “So, how is the Botanical Garden funded for ongoing construction and operations?” My answer is immediate. The people of Santa Fe generously give their time and treasure to build the Botanical Garden. Clearly, their sustained action is indicative of how they value the Botanical Garden on Museum Hill and Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve as educational resources within our community.

Considering the size of our City, it is remarkable that the Botanical Garden has been able to make such forward movement in recent years. Certainly the Botanical Garden has a great working relationship with both the City of Santa Fe and the State of New Mexico. Their collaboration through long-term land leases and shared expertise regarding the actual construction of the garden is greatly appreciated. However, as I said, it is the people of Santa Fe, including the Botanical Garden’s Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, who are committed to building a world-class botanical garden. Words can hardly express my appreciation for such an investment and gesture of trust. It propels the Botanical Garden forward.

To spread the appreciation further, my deepest thanks go to the Summer Solstice event co-chairs, Liz Rees and Rae Hoffacker, and their devoted, creative committee members. The proof is in the pudding considering the extraordinary re-imagining of the event across both phases of the Botanical Garden on June 17th, 2017. The interpretation of the evening’s theme, “The Garden of Earthly Delights” dazzled attendees with its brilliant colors and artistry, provided by the amazing Wise Fool New Mexico performers, while complementing the Botanical Garden’s vivid blooms. The Summer Solstice is our largest annual fundraiser and supports our growing mission of environmental education for over 40,000 students and garden visitors annually. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this critical event to strengthen the Botanical Garden’s program offerings. Be sure to save the date for the Summer Solstice event on June 16, 2018. I hope to see you there!

Continuing the theme of appreciation, the Botanical Garden is honored to partner with the Namingha family and Niman Fine Art to organize and present the exhibition Conception, Abstraction, Reduction: The Art of Dan, Arlo and Michael Namingha. The Namingha’s growing legacy of artistic excellence is recognized by a growing number of esteemed museums and collectors around the world. SFBG is delighted to share these inspiring works with our visitors through May 13, 2018. The exhibition is curated with great finesse by Letitia Chambers, Chair of our Board of Directors, who has developed many fine art exhibitions during her career. Thanks to Letitia for her sustained efforts during the past year to bring the project to such a beautiful realization.

And further appreciations, even! We are sad to see our Development Director, Rachel Loomis, leaving the Botanical Garden.  She has been a vibrant member of our SFBG team and we are grateful for her time with us.  Best wishes to Rachel on her new path!  And a warm welcome to our new Development Director, Rebecca Jensen.  Rebecca was most recently the Communications and Marketing Director for the popular Santa Fe Pro Musica and has over two decades of experience within nonprofit leadership.  Welcome, Rebecca!

Also mark your calendars for these exciting upcoming events in the Garden:

  • July 6, 2017 – Sunset In the Garden Concert Series event. The concerts continue on the first Thursday of the month through October. This popular series features many of Santa Fe’s top musicians, playing in a wide range of styles. Bring a delicious picnic and favorite friends and we will provide beautiful blooms, amazing music and a brilliant sunset!
  • August 23 – 31 – Shakespeare in the Garden, The Tempest. Tickets are now on sale! This professional Equity production is produced by Shakespeare In Santa Fe and the Shakespeare Guild, directed by Nagle Jackson, in partnership with the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Opening night on August 23 will be an amazing gala premiere and reception, so tickets will go quickly. On the remaining nights, ticket holders can enjoy picnicking in the Botanical Garden beginning at 6:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there!
  • September 23 – Harvest Dinners. This fourth annual event directly supports SFBG’s education outreach within our community. Enjoy a scrumptious, intimate dinner while meeting new friends within private homes and stunning gardens. Tickets will go on sale soon.

As you can see, there are great events going on at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden throughout the season, so plan to make us a part of summer!

I look forward to seeing you soon and appreciate your support,

Clayton Bass, President and 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