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, presentation of the arts, and the sustainable management of our nature preserve 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 educational programs 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.
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.
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.
Letter from Clayton Bass, CEO
August 27, 2015
Dear Botanical Garden Enthusiasts,
The Monarchs are here! Last weekend I saw the first one in my home garden, and several people have confirmed Monarchs have been sighted in the Santa Fe area in growing numbers. The Botanical Garden’s Summer of Color container garden exhibition, Monarch: Orange Takes Flight will be on display through September 13. However, if the displays are still in fine condition we will extend their time in the Garden. Don’t miss the opportunity to return to the Garden and see these magnificent arrangements, and get inspired with ideas for your home garden!
The summer of 2015 has been a time of abundant rains across New Mexico landscapes setting the stage for an amazing autumn to come. On September 12, the Botanical Garden’s popular Harvest Dinners will provide an unforgettable evening of exquisite dining set amid spectacular private gardens. Part of the charm for this event is the changing locations each year, plus you never know what interesting people you will meet in these intimate settings. A limited number of tickets are available, so don’t miss this opportunity. Because of the generosity of the Harvest Dinners hosts, all proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Garden’s educational programs in our community. For more information visit the Harvest Dinners webpage or contact Cynthia Melugin, Director of Development, at 505-471-9103, or email@example.com. I hope to see you there!
The Botanical Garden’s new event Sunset – After Hours in the Garden has quickly developed a loyal following, with many bringing their own picnics, folding outdoor furniture, and candles. This BYOB event tops the list of creative ways to experience Santa Fe’s magical sunsets with friends and family. The Garden setting is always a delight, and the entertainment changes each month. Mark your calendar for September 17 and plan to be there. The event begins at 5:00 p.m. and continues until sunset.
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden continues to thrive in large part due to its loyal volunteer team. Our recent Volunteer Appreciation event on August 23rd was a celebration of our growing volunteer family and their tremendous contributions to the Garden’s success. My personal appreciation goes out to all of our volunteers for their collaboration in this joyful work we share!
The Botanical Garden bids farewell and sends best wishes to Fran Cole, Public Affairs Director, as she moves forward with a new chapter in her life. Fran joined the Garden staff in 2008, has worked tirelessly to nurture our volunteers, coordinate myriad special events, steward our educational programs, and share the Garden’s message through the media. Fran, you will be missed and thanks for your efforts!
As the summer days begin to grow shorter, don’t forget to visit the Museum Hill Partners’ venues and experience the Summer of Color exhibitions! The Garden’s Power of Place continues to garner rave responses from our visitors and continues through May 1, 2016.
I hope to see you in the Garden soon!
Clayton Bass, CEO
Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a proud member of the American Public Gardens Association and the American Alliance of Museums.