About SFBG

/About SFBG
About SFBG2018-12-31T09:55:04+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.  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 .
  • 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 2019

Dear Botanical Garden Friends,

Happy New Year! No doubt 2019 will be an important next step for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden (SFBG) as we continue to expand our community engagement, educational impact, and outreach across the state and region. With each passing year, I am reminded that the collective work, done by all of us who share a passion for the Garden, continues the dream held by a small group of founders more than thirty years ago. Over the decades their ranks have grown and together we are building a lasting community resource for future generations.

With 2018 just behind us, the SFBG staff will compile detailed statistics to share very soon. However, here is a very exciting number that is already confirmed. The combined attendance at the Garden’s two sites and education programming engagements both on and off-site totals more than 60,000 for 2018. This number has increased from 44,000 in 2017, representing significant growth in many areas. But let it be said, the SFBG staff is most committed to quality experiences for our audiences.

Let me offer my deep gratitude to the SFBG staff and volunteers who made tremendous efforts, during snowy and very cold weather, to share GLOW – Cosmic Nights! with enthusiastic holiday visitors. Celebrating its sixth year, GLOW has become a beloved Santa Fe tradition for all ages. Thanks to our GLOW sponsors for their generous support, to our featured artists, and to the many talented musicians who made each night at GLOW joyful and distinctive. Once we catch our breath, the next iteration of GLOW will begin to take shape!

Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2019, the Botanical Garden’s popular series Food for Thought returns. Launched in 2018 to even out year-round program offerings, the series first event, Love Is In the Air, is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s on Sunday, February 10. Food for Thought series details will be released in early January, and I’m sure you will be excited about delectable events to be held in March and April as well.

Also, continuing this year is the popular Dan Ostermiller: Gardens Gone Wild exhibition, on view through May 12.  Dan’s delightful menagerie of animals fit perfectly within the Garden, and bring smiles to our visitors daily. We are excited for the next art exhibition, Human Nature, which opens on to the public on Saturday, May 25. The exhibition will provide a singular opportunity to experience the distinctively different approaches to figurative works by Alan Houser, David Pearson and Jonathan Hertzel.  I’m confident you will find the fine sculptures in Human Nature to be inspiring and compelling.

In closing, thanks to everyone who supported the Botanical Garden’s year-end appeal campaign.  Your generosity assures the Garden’s ability to provide environmental education for all ages, as we partner with area schools and offer a wide variety of programs throughout the year. If you have not had an opportunity to do so, it’s not too late to contribute to the appeal by visiting this link. Many thanks for your ongoing interest and support of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden!

I look forward to seeing you soon at the Garden,

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