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

August 2019

Dear Botanical Garden Supporters,

The creation story of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden has been made possible by hundreds, and possibly thousands, of dedicated individuals working together to fulfill this dream. Now in its 32nd year since being established as an educational non-profit in 1987, the Garden’s development is an ongoing, joyful relay race requiring sustained, coordinated efforts. In recent days, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden lost one of its most dedicated, long-serving individuals with the passing of our former Executive Director, Linda Milbourn. Her tireless efforts, working in concert with the Board of Directors, laid the groundwork for the creation of the Botanical Garden on Museum Hill. Plans are underway to honor and celebrate Linda’s life and contributions with an event in the Botanical Garden in the coming weeks. The Garden will be in contact with members and supporters to announce a date very soon. Click here to see my recent letter to the editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican remembering Linda and her many contributions to our community.

The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is many things to many people – as a place of quiet reflection, a place for learning about the natural world that surrounds us, or a place to recharge your spirit. Throughout the summer, it is a place where nature becomes an inspiring setting for the accomplished musical talents showcased during the Sunset in the Garden Concert Series. Two concerts remain in this year’s series, on August 1 featuring Jono Manson and September 5, with invokator’s world fusion rhythms. Gather your close friends, a delicious picnic, and bring your blanket or chair to experience one of Santa Fe’s most dramatic venues. Follow this link for more information about the Sunset in the Garden Concert Series. Plan to come and join in the fun!

The Botanical Garden’s fusion of nature’s wonders as inspiration and the remarkable range of human creativity is nowhere more apparent than in the new exhibition, Human Nature: Explorations in Bronze, featuring the works by three of New Mexico’s most celebrated sculptors Allan Houser, David Pearson and Jonathan Hertzel. The Human Nature Artists Studio Tour Series provides a singular opportunity for Garden supporters, and art enthusiasts, to explore the studios and hear directly from the artists about what drives their passion for artmaking. Don’t miss the final studio tour in this series with sculptor Jonathan Hertzel on Saturday, August 24 at 3:00 p.m. Jonathan is a deeply engaging speaker and storyteller, who will enchant attendees with a range of topics including his family’s profound history in New Mexico, and his deeply individual approach to creating monumental sculptures in bronze. To secure your reservation for this adventure into Hertzel’s creative world, click here. Space is limited, so don’t delay. I look forward to sharing the adventure with you!

There is no more beautiful time to experience the Santa Fe Botanical Garden than during the upcoming weeks leading to the Autumnal Equinox. And there is no better way to support the Garden’s innovative educational offerings for our community than by attending the upcoming Equinox Celebration on September 21. This magical evening unfolds amid the Botanical Garden’s unparalleled natural beauty, enhanced by long distance mountain views at sunset, and ending under an evening dome of stars. For Equinox event and ticket information click here, and plan to join us for this most elegant evening in support of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden and its programs. Heartfelt thanks to our creative, committed Equinox Celebration Committee of volunteers and staff who join forces throughout the year to create this important event supporting the Garden. You are amazing and appreciated!

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, 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.