About SFBG

/About SFBG
About SFBG 2018-05-02T14:25:52+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

 May 2018

Dear Botanical Garden Supporters,

Spring is upon us—and the Botanical Garden is bursting with color, fragrance, texture and the sounds of nature. There is nothing more inspirational than to experience the dramatic emergence of spring within a garden. Winter’s slumbers are fast melting away. I hope you will plan your visit soon while the Botanical Garden’s transition unfolds.

Here are several updates that I know you will find of interest:

Pinon Juniper Woodland (PJW):

In the coming weeks we will be laying out the main ADA trail and woodland trails for this new garden area. The work should be completed by mid-May as a first step toward further expansion of the Garden. This important move allows staff to tour the new area and show bench locations to donors who will help fund the Woodland.

  • PJW Timeline:
  • Spring 2018 – Working with two companies to layout trails
  • Summer 2018 – Planning and interpretive plan development continues, no heavy construction on entrance
  • Late Fall 2018 – Complete first section PJW and open to public.

If you are interested in supporting PJW please contact Clayton Bass, President and CEO at clayton@santafebotanicalgarden.org. Many thanks for considering this opportunity and remember gifts of all sizes are important.

Food for Thought:

  • This new series of three events spanned February through April, during the Botanical Garden’s lowest revenue period. Thanks to everyone who attended and gave their support. Also, tremendous thanks go to our event sponsor More Spirited Gifts, and to our event partners – Niman Fine Art, La Fonda on the Plaza and the Club at Las Campanas. Plans are already underway for continuing the series in 2019, so look out for news soon to come.

Ever the Twain:

  • This Santa Fe Botanical Garden and Lensic Performing Arts Center collaboration presents the revival of the beloved production, Ever the Twain, on May 29, at the Lensic. Come enjoy an imaginary meeting between literary giants William Shakespeare and Mark Twain. Valerie Plame will be our guest Mistress of Ceremonies during an evening of humor and wit.  Proceeds from the evening benefit both organizations, and tickets are already on sale, ranging in price from $15 to $100. To purchase tickets click on this link.

Many thanks to John Anderson of the Shakespeare Guild for suggesting this partnership!

Dan Ostermiller: Gardens Gone Wild!

  • The exhibition opens to the public on May 26 featuring bronze wildlife sculptures by one of America’s most celebrated artists working in this medium. Dan Ostermiller will lead morning and afternoon tours on opening day, giving attendees an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the inspiration and techniques used to produce these inspirational works. Nedra Matteucci Galleries is a vital partner in the presentation of the exhibition. Ostermiller has been affiliated with Matteucci Galleries for over thirty years. The exhibition continues through May 12, 2019.

Amazon Smile: An easy way to support the Garden.

  • No doubt all of us shop on-line and often at Amazon.com. I encourage you to consider signing up for Amazon Smile. When you do, a portion of your purchase amount is rebated back to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. When you consider how many members (over 1,635 households) and supporters (over 5,000 individuals) receive the SFBG Clippings monthly enewsletter, the power of numbers can make a big difference in Botanical Garden revenue. Click on this link to sign up for Amazon Smile. https://org.amazon.com And thanks for supporting the Botanical Garden, in many ways!

Thanks for your continuing interest in the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. I look forward to seeing you in the Garden very 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