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 and the sustainable management of our nature preserves 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 programs of education and service to the community.
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.
The 1,350-acre Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve was acquired by the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in 2001 (a condition in the settlement agreement requiring cessation of mining activities). Since assuming stewardship, volunteers have worked to make the Preserve accessible to visitors through the addition of a network of trails and a visitors’ kiosk. Although the County of Santa Fe purchased the land in 2007, Santa Fe Botanical Garden continues to manage and provide programming for the Preserve.
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. A visitor center and Phase 2, Ojos y Manos: Eyes and Hands, are scheduled to open in 2015.
Letter from Clayton Bass, CEO
Dear Botanical Garden Friends,
The monsoon season is upon us, and we welcome the arrival of rain. So far, 2014 has been such an abundant time for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s (SFBG) growth. Everyone marvels at how the Garden is filling in quickly since being planted in the spring of 2013. Not only are the plants growing, but so are our numbers of members, volunteers and visitors. The Garden has now welcomed over 25,000 visitors during its first eleven months and our combined membership of individuals and businesses reached 1,744 and counting, as of June 30. Welcome to our new members, and thanks to our many longtime members!
Our recent Summer Solstice event was a magical evening exceeding our expectations. Heartfelt thanks go out to our Solstice Committee members who worked diligently over many months to create the Garden’s first gala fundraiser. Major thanks go out to our event sponsors, Violante and Rochford Interiors and Woods Design/Builders. The goal of selling 250 tickets was increased to 300 due to high demand—a clear sign of interest and support. The event netted nearly $60,000 for the Botanical Garden’s programs and operations. Be certain to mark your calendars for the third Saturday in June, 2015 and plan to attend Summer Solstice in the Garden!
Looking forward there are two upcoming events you do not want to miss. You will be hearing soon about the membership step up campaign and thank you event, Sol y Cena, scheduled for August 27, for our Aster Society members ($1,000 and above). All members who step up to the $1,000 level, or who are already Aster Society members will be treated to a farm-to-table seated dinner on the Red Bridge. This unforgettable night will feature delightful farm-fresh foods from local growers, amazing beverages and classical melodies under a summer sky. A mailing will go out soon about Sol Y Cena, or you can call 505-471-9103 for details. Also, coming up on September 13, the Garden will launch another new event, Harvest Dinners, where you can enjoy intimate dining in Santa Fe’s most beautiful, private gardens. Tickets are limited and can be purchased on-line at the Garden’s website under the events heading, or you can call the office.
For the first time the Botanical Garden is partnering with the International Folk Art Market (IFAM), with Garden admission included in the Market’s tickets on July 12 and 13. Remember to take a break from shopping to recharge within the natural beauty of the Botanical Garden. Also, upcoming at the Garden and at our other two sites, are many programs for families and adults. See details on our website. Several examples include: Origami making classes – a perfect introduction to the exhibition Origami in the Garden by Kevin Box – or hiking through the gorgeous Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve or Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve.
So get outside and enjoy the summer! The Santa Fe Botanical Garden provides you with many creative options!
Clayton Bass, CEO