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
Dear Botanical Garden Enthusiast,
Those crisp, clear mornings you’ve been dreaming of are here! Autumn in the Santa Fe Botanical Garden introduces an entirely new palette of colors and range of textures that will delight all ages. Even if you were just in the Garden this summer, plan your return visit and see how quickly our living collection is transformed by the seasonal change. The Garden’s collections of grasses and perennials are harmonizing in vibrant colors, so you don’t want to miss it!
Speaking of delight, the Sunset – After Hours in the Garden series has built a strong following who bring a picnic, beverages, and friends to enjoy this most special time of day in Santa Fe. We provide the Garden, changing music each month, and nature does the rest! Due to the many requests from those attending, we have added one final Sunset event on October 15 from 5:00 p.m. until sunset. Sunset – After Hours in the Garden will resume in May 2016 on the third Wednesday of each month, continuing through October, weather permitting. I hope to see you on October 15th for some sunset magic!
The spirit of autumn was alive during the second annual Harvest Dinners event. Four dinners were held on Saturday, September 12 in private homes with exceptional gardens. On behalf of the Botanical Garden’s Board of Directors and staff, we extend our deepest appreciation to the Harvest Dinner hosts for their generous support of the event. Because of their generosity, all revenue from ticket sales directly benefits the Garden’s educational mission. Feedback from Harvest Dinner attendees was incredibly positive, with many saying it was their favorite evening in recent memory, and for a great cause! We will announce the September 2016 date very soon, and hope for you to plan to attend the Harvest Dinners!
Are you passionate about photography? The Botanical Garden launches its first photography contest in mid-October and continues through July 31, 2016. This timeline allows participants to explore all four seasons with their cameras. Both adults and youth are encouraged to enter images taken at the Botanical Garden’s two locations—the Museum Hill Garden, and Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve. The entry form can be downloaded from the Garden’s website: www.santafebotanicalgarden.org/photo-contest. Generous prizes will be awarded to both youth and adults. We can hardly wait to see what great images are captured!
Santa Fe is legendary for its great beauty during the holidays. The Botanical Garden’s GLOW – A Winter Lights Event in the Garden has quickly become a favorite part of Santa Fe’s holiday tradition. The third year of GLOW opens on December 3 and continues, on Thursdays through Saturdays, through January 2. The event runs each night between Christmas and New Years. Check our website www.santafebotanicalgarden.org/GLOW for information about exact dates and admission prices. Early bird discounted tickets go on sale beginning October 16 and continue through November 13. New discounted family packages are available, plus discounts for seniors and active military. Our magical illuminated garden, including Santa, music, bonfires, domes and hot beverages, is the perfect holiday experience for all ages!
Enjoy the autumn, and I’ll see you at GLOW!
Clayton Bass, CEO
Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a proud member of the American Public Gardens Association and the American Alliance of Museums.