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

June 2019

Dear Botanical Garden Enthusiasts,

With the arrival of spring and emerging colors across the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, I am reminded of the diligence and care required to prepare the Garden for the new season. Thanks to the Garden’s Horticulture Staff for nurturing our living collections: Scott Canning, Cristina Salvador, and Linda Churchill, plus the dedicated team of Garden volunteers! As you enjoy your home garden or during visits to the Botanical Garden remember to explore our on-line resource, the Garden Explorer to learn about what grows at the Botanical Garden at Museum Hill and Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve.

A joyful groundbreaking for the Piñon-Juniper Woodland was held at the Garden’s annual meeting on May 8 and construction has begun on the third phase. This addition of 3.25 acres to the Botanical Garden will greatly expand the visitor experience and understanding of local biodiversity, as it adds new ADA walkways and trail systems with expansive views of Santa Fe’s surrounding mountains. In addition, the expanded garden area will include the exciting new hands-on learning destination Children Discover Nature for children ages six and under. For information about naming opportunities and ways to support the creation of this important new Garden phase, please contact me at clayton@santafebotanicalgarden.org or by phone at 505-471-9103, extension 2.

Have you ever visited the Botanical Garden’s other location? For many it is a much beloved natural treasure in Santa Fe. The Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve is open weekly from May through October on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. This unique wetland environment is home to a bounty of native plants and wildlife, plus it is a haven for bird watching. To learn more about upcoming programs and prepare for your visit, follow this link. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s educational reach is greatly expanded by its two diverse locations. I hope you will include them both in your summer plans!

The Garden’s new exhibition Human Nature: Explorations In Bronze opened on May 25 and continues through May 10, 2020. Featuring the diverse figurative works of Allan Houser, David Pearson, and Jonathan Hertzel, the exhibition is a vivid journey through myriad realms of human gesture, ceremony, dance, work, and a range of emotions. For a deeper understanding of these artists’ inspirations and techniques, the Garden presents a series of studio tour events during the summer. Don’t miss this singular opportunity for an insider’s view of the Human Nature artists. Tickets are limited and will sell out quickly. Visit this link to guarantee your attendance. I’ll see you there!

The Botanical Garden’s popular Harvest Dinners have moved into the summer season to better engage Santa Fe audiences when gardens are at their peak. The rebranded Summer Garden Dinners series provides unforgettable experiences in some of Santa Fe’s most beautiful homes and gardens, combined with wonderful cuisine and fine wines. Sounds great, right? And it will be! Be sure to attend, and for more information visit this link, or contact Rebecca Jensen, Development Director, at rebecca@santafebotanicalgarden.org.

Thanks for your passion and support for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. I hope you will visit often to experience its changing beauty, and take away wonderful memories.

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.