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 2016.
Letter from Clayton Bass, CEO
Dear Garden Members and Friends,
I hope your New Year is off to a great beginning. Is it just me, but hasn’t 2015 burst out of the starting gate with a blur? Although the Botanical Garden is hibernating, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s staff, Board and volunteers are super busy with activities and planning. We have launched special admission prices, a flat rate of $3, during the remaining cold season through March 31. This new price coincides with the new Winter Wonder Garden focus on programs and events to raise awareness and appreciation of the Garden’s beauty this time of year. I encourage you to check out the Upcoming Events link for many creative options and also see the Community Events link for an array of program offerings at other Santa Fe organizations.
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden in collaboration with the Museum Hill Partners has just announced the Summer of Color for 2015. Each of the four museums on Museum Hill, plus the International Folk Art Market and Santa Fe Botanical Garden have each selected a color and developed a variety of compelling programs for the public’s enrichment. The Botanical Garden will open Monarch – Orange Takes Flight on May 30. This exhibition of container gardens, using every imaginable shade of orange and other complementary colors, will inspire gardeners of all varieties. The much beloved monarch butterfly is the central focus for the Garden’s programs about this endangered species and steps we can take to provide support for their recovery. A multi-color bonus for visitors will be the Santa Fe Botanical Garden showcasing an amazing variety of plants of the Southwest. For more information, visit our webpage, Monarch – Orange Takes Flight.
Running concurrently with Monarch: Orange Take Flight will be the Garden’s first invitational exhibition, The Power of Place, featuring works by seventeen of New Mexico’s most celebrated sculptors. Works in a variety of media and styles will grace the Garden’s Art Trail beginning May 15 and continuing through May 1, 2016. These works will be transformed when illuminated later in 2015 during the GLOW Winter Lights event. The Power of Place will provide clear affirmation of why Santa Fe is considered a top sculpture destination in the United States.
The Garden’s Morphing Nature sculpture exhibition has been very popular with Garden visitors since it opened in November 2014. This creative collaboration with art students from the Institute of American Indian Art and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design will continue through Sunday April 26. Using found natural material materials as their primary medium, this selection of amazing works is a must see for all ages.
It is time to mark Saturday June 20 on your calendars for the Botanical Garden’s second Summer Solstice Soiree. Following the great success established with last year’s event, a dedicated Solstice Committee is in high gear to make this year’s event a beautiful night to remember, complete with a Technicolor sunset followed by a canopy of stars. Revenue from the Solstice Soiree is critical to the Garden’s educational mission and its ability to deliver transformative experiences in nature for all ages. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all Solstice Committee members and Garden staff who are working so diligently to create this important event. I look forward to seeing you at the Solstice and in the Garden soon!
Enjoy this early spring weather,
Clayton Bass, CEO