About SFBG

/About SFBG
About SFBG 2018-08-29T12:57:48+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

 September 2018

Dear Botanical Garden Supporters,

What a beautiful summer it has been at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden! It is hard to imagine we are soon shifting gears into autumn soon. Over the past few months, the right combination of weather and good care from the Garden’s Horticulture staff and garden volunteers has produced exceptional results, with an amazing showing of lavender and rose varieties, perennials, cacti and succulents. Our hats are off to the “green thumb” team who are diligent and knowledgeable in their care for the Garden’s living collections. A special thanks to Scott Canning, Horticulture and Special Projects Director, Cristina Salvador, Collections Manager, and Linda Churchill, Lead Gardener, for your sustained efforts to nurture the Santa Fe Botanical Garden collections. Your dedication and work provide thousands of visitors of all ages, members, volunteers and staff with an experience of wonder and beauty across the summer season.

Excitement is building for the Garden’s newest event of the year, the Equinox Celebration, coming up on September 22. Tickets are limited, but still available, for this delightful sunset garden party followed by an exceptional seated dinner served inside a beautifully decorated tent. Afterward, thrilling silent and live auctions featuring once in a lifetime trips, spa and dinner experiences, plus beautiful items and fine art for your collection can be yours. Visit this web link to secure your tickets to an unforgettable evening. The Equinox Celebration Committee is doing exceptional work under the leadership of Letitia Chambers and Liz Rees. Together, they are setting a new standard for a fundraiser in the Garden, whose net revenue will underwrite the institution’s educational mission and programs.  This event replaces the successful Solstice fundraiser held in June each year, and moves this essential fundraiser to a cooler season. Get your tickets very soon, and I look forward to seeing you there!

Shakespeare in the Garden is soon to complete its second season with the stellar production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by the talented and insightful Rachel Kelly. With its final performance set for Sunday, September 2, this year’s production has truly raised the bar with an excellent cast, costumes of sheer poetry, and inspiring music composed by Mary Outten. My deep thanks goes to John Andrews for his ongoing collaboration and efforts to assemble the Bardtenders—a passionate, supportive and appreciated crew, if ever there was one.  Thanks to our many generous sponsors for Shakespeare in the Garden, for without their generous underwriting, this year’s production would not be possible. And to the SFBG staff for shouldering many tasks too numerous to list here, and for making it happen! And finally, my most heartfelt praise for the multi-talented cast and crew who soared to new heights every evening, no matter the threatening monsoons. Once again the Berlin Gathering Place Amphitheater became a place of wonder and magic!

If you were meaning to attend the Sunset in the Garden Concert Series but keep missing it, you are lucky and have one last opportunity this year on September 6, 2018, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Yes, there will be a sunset painting a beautiful garden, and the fun musical swing of Half Broke Horses—a much beloved Santa Fe favorite. Pack a picnic, invite your friends and family, and come spread out in the most fragrant place in the City Different.  There is no doubt it will be a lovely night in the Garden!

If you love the wilderness and fine art, here is the perfect combination. The third biennial chapter of Wilderness Acts, site-specific sculptures at the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, opens on September 1 and continues through October 28. The Preserve is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. weekly. Thanks to our creative partner Axle Contemporary—the coolest mobile art gallery, ever! The exhibition literally weaves together the most beautiful natural elements into sculptures that look like they were always there—a natural part of the landscape. Come discover the Wetland, and so much more. Visit here for more information.

And thanks to you, the Garden’s members and supporters, for making this a tremendous summer season. And now forward into autumn! I look forward to seeing you at one of our sites soon!

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