About SFBG

/About SFBG
About SFBG 2017-11-16T16:06:29+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. A visitor center and Phase 2, Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands, are scheduled to open in 2016.
  • 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

 November 2017

Dear Botanical Garden Supporters,

As the Santa Fe Botanical Garden approaches the end of its first high season as an expanded destination consisting of the Orchard Gardens and Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands Garden, the positive impact of its greater footprint and living collections is undeniable. The Botanical Garden’s new capacity affords our visitors a vivid, authentic and varied New Mexico experience. Adding to the richness is the abundant ethnobotanical garden unfolding in terraced planters and adjacent gardens surrounding the Berlin Gathering Place in the Ojos y Manos Garden. Visitors have been amazed by the profound quantities of vegetables, native wildflowers, lush evergreens and the lure of learning about traditional cooking using the two baking ovens anchoring the Lopez Horno Plaza. There is no doubt that the Red Bridge is now a bridge to somewhere – enchanting, refreshing, and inspiring.

The Orchard Gardens continue to mature and dazzle our visitors as they explore the varieties of fruit trees, lavender, roses, and xeric collections of cacti and native grasses. The Botanical Garden staff and volunteers often hear visitors’ amazed comments that such a new garden can look this full and developed. No doubt, the Botanical Garden gets better and better each year. Adding to the natural wonder are the changing exhibitions of world-class sculpture including the current exhibition featuring the inspired works of Dan, Arlo and Michael Namingha, continuing through May 13, 2018. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s myriad public offerings, including a wealth of educational programs and workshops, Shakespeare In the Garden, Sunset Concert Series, GLOW Winter Lights, and many others are clearly connecting with an expanding spectrum of visitors.

Consider the following trends in audience growth and membership support year-to-date through October 18 over the same period last year.  No doubt awareness of the Botanical Garden is increasing through word of mouth, consistent marketing efforts, partnerships and program offerings across the Santa Fe area. These trends indicate a strong future for the organization. Thanks to everyone on the SFBG Team—staff, Board, volunteers and members—who work so diligently to move the Botanical Garden forward!

  • Attendance – increased 29%
  • Attendance revenue – increased 125%
  • Attendance projected in 2017 will exceed 45,000 versus 39,408 in 2016
  • Class and workshop participation and revenue – increased 126%
  • Retail sales – increased by 33%
  • Student engagements will reach 14,000 versus 10,000 in 2016
  • Botanical Garden membership – 1550 versus 1,325 in 2016
  • Museum Hill Community Day – 755 attendees versus 575 in 2016
  • Sunset Concert Series – 502 attendees versus 375 in 2016

Speaking of great programs—the Botanical Garden’s Fall and Winter Lecture Series is attracting record attendance with its current theme of powerful women of the Southwest. Compelling monthly presentations in the Series explore women as transmitters of culture, the evolution of Santa Fe style, the curandera tradition of natural healers, and the garden at El Zaguán. I am pleased to announce the Botanical Garden’s current Fall and Winter Lecture Series is exclusively sponsored by the Quezada Jacobs Family. Their generous investment in the Botanical Garden’s innovative education programs for adults is greatly appreciated! For more information about the lecture series visit the SFBG website or contact the office at 505-471-9103.

The next chapter in the Botanical Garden’s GLOW Winter Lights experience will amaze visitors with the theme Bridging Time.  GLOW visitors are in for a treat with new displays and cutting edge lighting and sculpture creations by this year’s featured artists, Christopher Short—laser master and tech guru extraordinaire—and Victoria Rabinowe—exquisite Spirit Poles creator. Our featured artists are collaborating to blend their aesthetic concepts into delightful and inspiring illuminations within the Garden. GLOW early bird tickets go on sale at a significant savings on November 17. This year SFBG is offering special GLOW Party Packages for groups of ten or more. For more information about this exciting new way to celebrate the holidays, benefit from early bird ticket sales, or to attend the GLOW Preview Party on December 6, visit the website or contact Rebecca Jensen via email (Rebecca@santafebotanicalgarden.org). I look forward to sharing the holidays with you at GLOW—Santa Fe’s most exciting new holiday tradition!

Considering the Botanical Garden’s growth in audience engagement and expanding reach of environmental education across the Santa Fe Community, the 2017 Year End Appeal Campaign is more vital than ever in supporting the Botanical Garden’s sustainable growth and program development. The Botanical Garden fills a vital educational role within our City and State where such profound needs are more than common. Your gift of any size will make a tremendous difference in the lives of youth and adults who are enriched by the Botanical Garden’s outreach and educational partnerships. Visit the Garden’s website for more information on ways to give. Heartfelt thanks for your generous support of the Botanical Garden’s educational mission.

Although November’s cooler days are here, remember there is no more beautiful location for an Autumn stroll than the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Beginning on November 1 and continuing through March, the Botanical Garden’s schedule changes to Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Many thanks for your support and passion for the Santa Fe Botanical 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, and the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce.