Pinon Juniper WoodlandPiñon-Juniper Woodland

Opening in 2020

In 2017, an additional 3.25 acres from the State of New Mexico was leased for development of Piñon-Juniper Woodland at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill. This acquisition of land increased the Santa Fe Botanical Garden site to 20.5 total acres currently on Museum Hill (15.25 acres in 2016). The Piñon-Juniper Woodland is scheduled to open in 2020.

The Piñon-Juniper Woodland is directly adjacent to Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands Garden, whose purpose is to preserve this pristine woodland ecosystem and share it with the public through innovative interpretive graphics and programs. There will be handicap accessible paths and extensive woodland trails with numerous benches to encourage lingering in this beautiful setting with lovely distant views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

The Piñon-Juniper Woodland will also contain a children’s area where young ones can play year-round and learn in nature. Plans for the area include a dirt pit for digging, branches for fort building, tree stumps turned into checkerboards, logs for balancing, a fence as a frame for a nature loom, a fairy village, and a “Take a Book, Leave a Book” library. All the features are handmade and nearly all of them are made with materials sourced from nature. The children’s area was designed by Laurel McIntyre for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project in 2018, with the intent to help kids feel comfortable, learn, and be creative outside.

Pinon Juniper ChollaTimeline:

  • 2018 – Working with two companies to layout main ADA trails
  • 2019 – Groundbreaking, interpretive plan development continues, construction of entrance
  • 2020 – Complete first section and open to public.

If you are interested in supporting the Piñon-Juniper Woodland, please contact Lindsay Taylor, Director of Institutional Advancement at

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Piñon-Juniper Woodland Definition

  • Allred, K.W. and R.D. Ivey. 2012. Flora Neomexicana III: An Illustrated Identification Manual.

This is the elemental coniferous woodland type in New Mexico, with numerous associates and sub-types. Associations with Artemisia and Quercus are particularly noticeable, so they are treated above. Piñon will occupy the upper, more moist, zones of the vegetation type, with juniper at the lower, more arid, zones, with the species intermingling between. The predominant piñon is Pinus edulis, and the predominant juniper is Juniperus monosperma. Bouteloua gracilis is the common understory grass species. In the bootheel, Pinus edulis may be replaced by Pinus cembroides. Alternative juniper dominants will be Juniperus scopulorum in the northern regions, Juniperus pinchotii to the east, Juniperus coahulensis to the south near the deserts, and Juniperus deppeana to the west in the mountains. Other common shrubs in the piñon-juniper woodland include Atriplex canescens, Berberis haematocarpa, Cercocarpus montanus, Ericameria (Chrysothamnus) nauseosa, Fendlera rupicola, Garrya wrightii, Philadelphus microphyllus, and Robinia neomexicana. As expected, common grasses include species of Achnatherum, Aristida, Bouteloua, Eragrostis, Muhlenbergia, and Piptochaetium fimbriatum under the piñon. Forbs are many and diverse.

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Pinon Juniper

Photos by Lindsay Taylor