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

March 2019

Dear Friends of the Botanical Garden,

As I go about my daily work – and joyful work it is – with this dedicated team of professionals and volunteers, I am reminded of the extraordinary progress that has been made to bring the Santa Fe Botanical Garden to life. In a remarkably short time, since opening on Museum Hill in July of 2013, the Garden has established itself as a positive force for environmental education in our state, while becoming a must-see destination for New Mexico residents and visitors from near and far. It is exciting to report that in 2018, combined attendance to the Botanical Garden and its programs was 59,311—a 35% increase over the previous year!

Many factors continue to drive attendance higher at both Garden locations: sustained marketing campaigns increase awareness to local, regional and national audiences; expanding grant funded programs allow us to engage ever growing numbers of students and adults; word of mouth endorsements provide priceless buzz to friends and contacts about the Garden’s beauty; and lastly, it just takes time for the institution’s existence to become known when we compete with myriad competition in Santa Fe and daily life.

A key ingredient in the Botanical Garden’s impressive growth is its membership. At the end of 2018 Garden membership reached 1,645 households, a steady increase of 4% over the same period in 2017. Membership provides a critical foundation of support for the Botanical Garden’s educational programs, outreach and annual operations, while creating a dynamic social network for individuals with shared interests.  Heartfelt thanks to all Garden members for your steadfast support, and for spreading the good news about activities at our two locations.

While winter may be with us a few weeks longer, there are exciting and tasty options to engage you during this waning winter season. The Botanical Garden’s Food for Thought Series continues on March 24 with An Afternoon With Charles Dale of New Mexico Fine Dining. Mr. Dale is a Santa Fe legend and one of our City’s most revered chefs. Join him at 3:00 p.m. for special insights into his culinary world, plus delectable food and wine. The event will be hosted in a private home that showcases Santa Fe style architecture and fine art. Tickets are limited and this event is certain to sell out, so visit this link to make sure you are among the lucky attendees with Charles Dale.

Also, be sure to check the Garden’s Food for Thought Series webpage for an upcoming announcement about the final installment in the Food for Thought Series for this year on April 28. It promises to be another not-to-miss experience! A special thanks go to the Garden’s partners Hervé Wine Bar and Cacao Santa Fe for treating our lucky attendees to a memorable, delicious Love is in the Air event on February 10 at Hervé. The combination of fine wines and chocolate set the perfect tone for celebrating a romantic Valentines weekend. There is no doubt Love is in the Air has become an annual Valentine’s favorite with Garden supporters!

The 2019 Winter Lecture Series wraps up on Thursday, March 14 at 3:30 p.m. at the Udall Center with the presentation Intentional Landscapes: The Contained and the Wild, presented by Kenneth Francis, principal architect at Surroundings Studio here in Santa Fe. Kenneth and his talented team have designed many amazing public spaces in New Mexico, and most recently completed the Museum Hill Campus Plan. I encourage you not to miss this compelling and inspiring presentation. Last month’s lecture Ninfa & La Foce: A Garden Duet sold out, so we encourage you to reserve your seat early!

On Saturday, March 2, at 10:00 a.m. be sure to tune into the Santa Fe Botanical Garden Journal radio show on KSFR 101.1 FM. Join Lindsay Taylor, Marketing and PR Director, and me as we enjoy a conversation with our guests, SFBG Board member, Jim Moore, who will share information about the Garden’s Food for Thought Series, and we will welcome a Botanical Garden favorite, Tracy Neal, who will preview his upcoming workshop and tips for getting your garden ready for spring! To listen to past episodes of the Garden Journal, visit our Garden Blog.

Thanks for your support, and I look forward to seeing you soon in 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

Press & Media Contact

For information and hi-res images, please contact Lindsay Taylor, Marketing & PR Director: lindsay@santafebotanicalgarden.org, (505) 471-9103 ext 7.