Xeric Garden at the Botanical Garden at Museum Hill. Photo by Brian Koehl.
About Santa Fe Botanical Garden
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden features two sites on more than 55 acres: The Botanical Garden at Museum Hill, and the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve in La Cienega. Both sites are open to the public and offer events and education programs for all ages.
The Santa Fe Botanical 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.
Fall in Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve
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. The next phase, Piñon-Juniper Woodland, is made up of 3.25 acres directly adjacent to Ojos y Manos, and is slated to open in 2020. The Woodland will feature walking paths, a Children’s Area, and educational signage on why the piñon-juniper woodland is so crucial to our ecosystem. This recent lease from the State of New Mexico brings the total acres occupied by the Botanical Garden to 20.5.
- 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
June 30, 2020
Dear Botanical Garden Members and Supporters,
The long-term impacts of the pandemic are difficult to predict, but are manifesting with increasing clarity within the nonprofit sector. Like many nonprofits, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden has been profoundly impacted by revenue losses since March. Even with the generous support from our members for the Spring Appeal—thank you!—plus the short-term assistance from the Federal Payroll Protection Program, the Garden is undergoing internal downsizing with staff reductions and postponed or cancelled events. These difficult budget decisions are undertaken to assure the Santa Fe Botanical Garden survives for future generations and continues to provide educational enrichment for our community and state.
As these changes echo across the organization, the President and CEO position is not immune, and has been eliminated as a cost saving measure. Additionally, the working hours of our remaining staff have been reduced.
After nearly eight years in the CEO position, I am heartened when considering the Botanical Garden team’s accomplishments. A place of profound beauty and learning has been created for the community featuring the Garden’s living collections and educational program offerings for all. I sincerely appreciate the tireless efforts, generosity and collaboration by so many during this transformative time when the botanical garden on Museum Hill became a reality. I am thankful for having been a part of it. Now that the Garden exists – made even more impactful by our first site – the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve – the Board of Directors, Botanical Garden supporters, and the Santa Fe community must nurture its future sustainability through their support.
In closing, I extend my deepest appreciation and admiration for the Botanical Garden staff and volunteers for their dedication, professionalism and expertise. You are the beating heart of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Because of your talents and commitment, the Garden has established itself among the finest emerging gardens in North America. Looking forward, I hope the Garden will thrive due to a deeply engaged community. As you continue the relay race to create the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, please pass the torch with great care. The Garden is a precious and worthy dream.
Thank you all for sharing this journey with me. It is one I will always treasure.
President & CEO