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 Members and Ambassadors,
Best wishes to you all for an extraordinary year ahead, filled with peace, happiness, and time spent in nature. With the arrival of a New Year and decade, it is natural to reflect on where we have been, and to imagine the possibilities ahead of us. Certainly the year 2020 conjures visions of clarity of purpose and exciting directions forward.
Building upon the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s successes made possible by your support during 2019, we are positioned to take transformative steps in the continuing creation of a center for environmental learning focused upon the natural beauty and cultures of northern New Mexico. With appreciation for the Garden’s growing community of members, the Garden’s Board, staff and volunteers are committed to refining and expanding our educational offerings for all ages in the New Year.
At its year-end staff retreat, the Botanical Garden team identified the following focus areas to expand our educational mission and community engagement in the coming year. We determined that 2020 would be the year of …
- Member and donor stewardship refinements
- Biodiversity research, support and education
- Ecosystem restoration within the Garden’s 55 acres at its two sites
- Climate change advocacy through Garden programs and interpretation
- Strategic growth in new program offerings, garden and facility development, and financial resources
These efforts take on increased importance with the current master planning initiative for the Botanical Garden’s Museum Hill site. Currently, midway through the process, I look forward to sharing with the Santa Fe community in late spring the exciting concepts in development by Didier Design Studio and Lake | Flato Architects as they reimage our nearly twenty-one acre in-town campus. There is no doubt this next chapter in the Botanical Garden’s development will generate great momentum and take the organization to the next level, much to the benefit of Santa Fe and New Mexico.
Next month I look forward to sharing year-end 2019 statistics for what has been a terrific year at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Let me express my special thanks to everyone who has given so generously to the Garden’s year-end appeal campaign. Your support for the Botanical Garden is essential to its success and much appreciated.
In closing, a huge thanks goes to the Botanical Garden staff and volunteers for their creative collaboration to install GLOW Botanica – A Winter Lights Event and for welcoming the thousands of visitors to this beloved holiday event. As we pivot into January, remember a wintertime stroll in the Garden has a special beauty and can be so inspiring. Our current winter season schedule through March is Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Even if the weather requires a coat, the Garden’s myriad programs will nourish your mind and help foster new friendships. Visit our Education page to learn more.
Here’s to great aspirations and good health in 2020!
Clayton Bass, President & CEO