About SFBG

/About SFBG
About SFBG 2017-08-31T17:33:09+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

 September 2017

Dear Botanical Garden Supporters,

Here is some food for thought. It is estimated that 10,000 years ago there were just 200,000 humans on the Earth. Fast forward to 2,000 years ago, there were 200 million humans. Today, our number exceeds 7.5 billion, and is expected to reach 9 billion within fifty years. Currently one third of the Earth’s surface is used for cultivation of crops and grazing to feed livestock. Indeed, we are a hungry species. No doubt humans are a highly successful and adaptive species, but at this rate of growth, how do we survive long-term?

A case is being made across the U.S. and the World, that botanical gardens are playing a growing, critical role in sustainability as educational institutions raising awareness within communities of careful natural resource management, food production using organic practices, effects of global warming, appreciation of natural ecosystems, conservation of endangered plant species, and the health benefits of spending time in nature. With its expanding role to address these issues, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden is building upon its first twenty-five years of educational programming at the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve with a wealth of programs, since opening its new garden on Museum Hill in 2013.

These are just a few examples of the Botanical Garden’s growth as a learning landscape that provides educational partnerships and community impact across Santa Fe and northern New Mexico.

  • Welcomed over 10,000 student engagements in 2016 through outreach and visits to the Garden
  • Hosted over 40,000 total visitor contacts in 2016, from all 50 States and 16 foreign countries
  • Opened Ojos y Manos, the largest native plant and ethnobotanical garden open to the public in Santa Fe
  • Shares organic fruit and vegetables grown in the Garden with the Food Depot to help feed people in need
  • Expanded mindfulness programs including Tai Chi and Yoga
  • Founder and one of the ongoing leaders of the Community Educators’ Network, which convenes over 75 educators from cultural non-profits in Santa Fe
  • Provides environmental education for all ages including Sprouts (2 to 5 years), K through 12, higher education and adult learners
  • Presents thematic lecture series from September through March
  • Focuses attention on environmental issues, climate change and sustainable practices through myriad programs
  • Serves as a community crossroads where cultural diversity and traditions are celebrated
  • The Botanical Garden inspires and celebrates creativity through presentations of the arts

For more information about the Botanical Garden’s educational offerings visit here to find ways to deepen your knowledge and to meet like-minded individuals. There is no doubt the Santa Fe Botanical Garden is making a difference in our community. Thanks for your support of the Garden’s ongoing educational mission.

Grateful thanks are due in large measure to the Botanical Garden’s Shakespeare presentation partners, John Andrews of the Shakespeare Guild and Rachel Kelly of Shakespeare in Santa Fe, for their collaboration on this summer’s successful production of The Tempest. Visionary director, Nagle Jackson, inspired the wildly talented cast to deliver unforgettable performances. Also, enormous thanks go to our stage and set designer Jay Bush for his masterful work that created the production’s imaginary island and to Catherine Owen for her splendid lighting design. The production also benefited greatly from the first rate front and back house crew who kept many moving parts running smoothly.

Our generous Shakespeare corporate sponsors, Thornburg Investment Management and Morgan Stanley, as well as a host of individuals and in-kind business partners, have made the Botanical Garden’s first production possible, and are greatly appreciated. Audience response has been super enthusiastic and community support for this new endeavor has been strong. And last but not least, thanks to the Botanical Garden staff and volunteers who have taken on many new duties to make Shakespeare come alive within the stunning Berlin Gathering Place. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the production. And remember, the play’s the thing!

And a warm welcome to our newest staff member, Marge Garcia Loehr, SFBG Membership and Marketing Coordinator!

Mark your calendars for these exciting upcoming events and ways to support the Garden!


  • Celebrate the collaboration of the Botanical Garden and Site Santa Fe by attending this collaborative fundraiser on September 14 from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m. in the Botanical Garden, featuring many experiential silent auction items. Visit this link for more information.


  • Sunset In the Garden Concert Series continues on the first Thursday monthly with great music and sunsets in the Botanical Garden. Plan to attend on September 7 and October 5. Remember to bring your picnic and friends!


  • GLOW is coming! This year’s theme, Bridging Time, will transport visitors to past, present and future realms, made possible through lighting effects, music and cutting edge art installations! More information is coming soon. It’s nearly time to get your GLOW on!

Your support of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden is always appreciated and assures the ongoing growth of our mission of environmental education and community engagement.

I hope to see you in the Botanical Garden very soon!

Clayton Bass, President and CEO



Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a proud member of the American Public Gardens Association and the American Alliance of Museums. APGA_member_rgb Santa-Fe-Chamber-of-Commerce-Logo