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,
It seems like autumn lasted for almost a week and winter is suddenly here. Don’t despair, because it is time to GLOW! The Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s GLOW Winter Lights 2014 opens on December 4 and continues until January 3. Don’t miss the Preview Party on December 3 and share in this exciting kick-off event! Twinkling fairy lights, illuminated magical creatures along the Art Trail, glimmering bonfires, warm frothy beverages, a changing cascade of entertainment, and colorful heated geodesic domes all beckon you to get outside and celebrate the Season! This year’s GLOW has expanded to include many new features like the GLOW Gift Shop, plus locations including the Red Bridge awash in magical light where you can sit and share a soothing sip by starlight.
Did I mention we have absolute confirmation the man in red, Santa, has promised to appear on Thursdays and Fridays during the first three weeks? Saturday evenings will have extended hours until 9:00 p.m., live music, and the perfect location for an unforgettable holiday experience. GLOW is a place like no other to celebrate and share the holidays with friends and family in Santa Fe. Visit the Garden’s website at www.santafebotanicalgarden.org/events/glow to purchase your tickets to a winter wonderland. It is time to get your GLOW on!
Don’t you love it when something comes together and exceeds your expectations? Here is an exciting new reason to visit the Garden again if you have been lately. The sculpture exhibition, Morphing Nature, opened on November 14 and continues through April 26, 2014. This collaboration with the Garden’s partners-in-education, the Institute of American Indian Arts and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, features ten amazing artworks made by sculpture students using recycled plant materials and other found objects. These works of nature art will delight your senses and be transformed when illuminated during GLOW 2014. Many thanks to the students, and their professors, who have shown tremendous imagination and effort to bring Morphing Nature to life!
Sustaining the educational mission and living collections of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a responsibility shared and nurtured by many caring hands. The fulfillment of the dream to create the Botanical Garden is only the prelude to assuring its continuing growth and successful delivery of quality programs for all ages. During its first year, over 3,000 student contacts were made possible by the generous support of our members and donors, and over 30,000 visitors were enriched by visiting the Garden’s three sites. We know from students’ feedback in letters and e-mails, these experiences broaden their view of the natural world and redefine their place within it. The Garden’s Board of Directors, staff and volunteers work diligently every day to make sure these educational programs continue to be expand across our City and State. However, your continued support is a critical part of the equation. Please consider making a year-end gift to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden to assure its sustainability for future generations. Thanks for your ongoing commitment and support.
Clayton Bass, CEO