About SFBG

/About SFBG
About SFBG 2017-12-31T22:07:20+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

 January 2018

Dear Botanical Garden Supporters,

Happy New Year! What better time to look ahead to exciting opportunities at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in the New Year as we reflect on 2017 with appreciation for an amazing year. Thank you for your steadfast interest and support of the Botanical Garden and its educational mission and programs during 2017. The Botanical Garden’s growing community of supporters continues to propel it forward and is vital to its success.

Audience growth continued in a major way last year, with over 45,000 visitors visiting the Botanical Garden and participating in its programs and outreach. Clearly public awareness of the Botanical Garden is growing both within our community, across New Mexico and from across the U.S. and internationally. It is rewarding to see how audiences are embracing and returning to the Botanical Garden throughout the year. With this in mind, it seems likely this growth trend will continue during 2018 and beyond.

In 2018 the Santa Fe Botanical Garden is creating fresh, new experiences for our members and the public, including:

Food For Thought Series: What better mix could occur than thought provoking lectures combined with exquisite cuisine, fine wines and three beautiful locations?  Santa Fe achieves a heightened sense of magic in the winter, so the Botanical Garden’s new series encourages you to stay in town and share memorable evenings with friends and new kindred spirits. The Botanical Garden will announce details about Food For Thought in early January for the series spanning February, March and April. You can save 10% by purchasing tickets to the entire series of three events.  We look forward to sharing compelling topics that will both educate and entertain. More to come soon!

Pinon-Juniper Woodland is coming in summer 2018. The Botanical Garden on Museum Hill continues to grow with the addition of this newly preserved pristine woodlands, bringing the total acreage within the admission area to nearly eight acres. The Woodland is a tapestry of mature evergreen trees, meadows of cacti and wildflowers, a protected place for birds and wildlife, with long distance views of Santa Fe’s majestic mountains in every direction.  A key feature within the Botanical Garden is Children Discover Nature—a place for immersive experiences where children can discover the wonders of nature through play and exploration. Naming opportunities are available for two types of benches and other beautiful features that can become a legacy for you and your family.  For more information about how to support this new conservation garden, contact me via email (clayton@santafebotanicalgarden.org). Gifts of all sizes are important and are greatly appreciated.

New membership prices go into effect on February 1, so what better time to renew? Why are membership prices going up? Because as the Botanical Garden continues to grow in both size and scope of program offerings, more resources are necessary to nourish and support these changes for our community.  Prices will increase by 10% for most membership levels. However, the value of Botanical Garden membership continues to increase with each new garden added and program delivered to our members. Thank you for your support of the Botanical Garden through your membership, and remember, memberships make a wonderful gift that continues giving across the entire year for the lucky recipient. Contact Rebecca Jensen via email (rebecca@santafebotanicalgarden.org) for assistance or visit the Garden’s website for more information.

GLOW: Bridging Time broke attendance records for the fifth year of the GLOW series. GLOW’s opening night more than doubled any previous opening for attendance to the event. Thanks to the Botanical Garden’s amazing, committed volunteers for their support and collaboration to make GLOW such a spectacular family event for the Santa Fe community. From excellent nightly entertainment and the new Laser Dance Party in the Hendricksen Pavilion, plus super-fun family activities in the Quezada Jacobs Family AllState children’s tent with Santa, to expanded featured artists installations, this rich sensory experience was a popular success with holiday visitors from near and far.

This year’s event achieved new creative heights through the collaboration of our featured artists, Victoria Rabinowe and Christopher Short. Rabinowe’s Spirit Poles and Short’s Agave LED sculptures and laser shows set a new watermark for the event’s evolution as a cutting edge presentation of new art forms emerging in Santa Fe. Explore our featured artists’ websites for Victoria and Christopher.  A huge thanks to Santa Fe Tourism for promoting GLOW as a highlight of Santa Fe’s holiday offerings.   Also, the Botanical Garden is so appreciative to its GLOW sponsors whose support makes this holiday tradition possible for our City. Many of the GLOW sponsors have sustained their support across the entire five years of the event’s history! Visit the GLOW website to see the full listing of supporters.

I hope to see you at the Food For Thought events and thanks for your ongoing support of the Botanical Garden. Here’s to a great New Year ahead!

Clayton Bass, President and CEO


Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a proud member of the American Public Gardens Association, American Alliance of Museums, American Horticultural Society, and the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce.