About SFBG

/About SFBG
About SFBG2018-10-28T12:01:24+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

November 2018

Dear Botanical Garden Supporters,

As we enjoy this season of harvest and bounty, there is much to reflect upon and appreciate as Thanksgiving approaches at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. This year has been another chapter of growth and community engagement in the Botanical Garden’s unfolding story. Myriad events and programs have provided education and enrichment to the Garden’s growing community of members, and for visitors from far and wide.

Most recently, the Harvest Dinners were held for the fourth year, and continued the delightful tradition of delicious dining set among some of Santa Fe’s most beautiful architectural gems and gardens. Heartfelt thanks go to our generous Harvest Dinner hosts and to the adventurous attendees who enjoyed meeting new friends while dining in support of the Botanical Garden’s innovative educational offerings. This popular series continues to evolve each year, and I encourage you to be on the lookout for an exciting announcement soon about the 2019 event.

Building upon the success of two previous biennial exhibitions, Wilderness Acts 2018 was a natural progression of site-specific sculpture presented within the expansive, natural beauty of Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve during September and October. Tremendous thanks go to the Botanical Garden’s exhibition partner, Axle Contemporary – Santa Fe’s much beloved mobile gallery experience. Axle Contemporary’s co-founders and creative drivers, Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase-Daniel again served vital roles as co-curators and liaisons to the team of ten participating artists.

Conceived as a creative acknowledgement of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, the sculpture exhibition has grown in artistic scope with each of its three iterations. Thanks to the inspired group of participating artists for their thoughtful artworks that so beautifully complemented the natural wonder of the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve. For more information about upcoming exhibitions in Axle Contemporary, visit their website. And a reminder, the Wetland Preserve has closed for the season at the end of October, but mark your calendars for May 4, when it opens for the 2019 season. You can also visit our webpage to learn about upcoming programs in 2019.

Early bird tickets for the sixth annual GLOW – Cosmic Nights! go on sale on November 1. Don’t miss this opportunity to get your tickets at a reduced price for a limited time. This year’s holiday illumination of the Botanical Garden will continue nightly from December 14 through 31, but closed on December 24 and 25. The event will present many new artful lighting displays, nightly music in the Hendricksen Pavilion, and creative hands-on activities for the young ones in the Children’s Tent. Santa will be holding court and making his list of wishes through December 23. GLOW continues to grow as one of Santa Fe’s most treasured holiday family traditions, and children twelve and under are free! Visit this page for dates and details, and a link to purchase early bird tickets. And don’t miss the GLOW Preview Party on December 6! You’ll be among the first to experience the Botanical Garden re-imagined with thousands of lights and laser effects accompanied by tasty bites and delightful beverages.

And when considering our many reasons to be thankful, the Botanical Garden’s loyal members and volunteers are at the top of the list! Many thanks for your ongoing commitment and support!

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