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
May 1, 2015
Dear Garden Enthusiasts,
Are you passionate about container gardening, or want to learn more about it? Does the sight of a Monarch butterfly stir your soul? Does the color orange make you smile? Does the opportunity to experience world-class sculpture against a backdrop of a blooming botanical garden and the Sangre de Cristo mountains get you jazzed? If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, be sure to visit the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in May and the coming summer months—and plan for repeat visits as the Garden unfolds in waves of color and texture.
The Museum Hill Partners’ Summer of Color is about to launch with the Botanical Garden’s two major offerings. Opening on May 15, the new exhibition celebrating New Mexico sculptors, The Power of Place, and on May 30, a constellation of container gardens, Monarch: Orange Takes Flight. Both projects come fully loaded with programs and events for all ages. Explore Upcoming Events to discover more about what is being offered.
The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is so fortunate to have strong and growing support from our members. The Garden is mindful of levels of support and their corresponding benefits. Also, we keep our radar on to see what other good membership ideas are “out there” that would be appealing to our supporters. The Garden has not changed its membership levels for over seven years, so effective May 1 we have compelling new levels and benefits in place. These include a $20 level for full-time students, a $60 couple level, and a $95 family plus level that allows a couple to bring two friends along for free. A new Leonora Curtin Society has been created for $5,000 and $10,000 members with special benefits. The popular Aster Society for $1,000 and $2,500 members continues and members of both Societies are invited for free to the Sol y Cena farm to table event annually. Don’t hesitate to contact Valerie Rangel, Membership Coordinator, at Valerie@santafebotanicalgarden.org for more information.
The sculpture exhibition Morphing Nature closed on April 26th after a popular six month run. This was the Garden’s first university level student exhibition, and based upon our visitors’ responses, the works were enjoyed by all ages. I so appreciate this creative collaboration with the students and their sculpture professors, Susan York from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and Dana Chodzka from the Institute of American Indian Arts. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is pleased to have been a launching pad for the students’ first experience of showing their works in a public setting. Based upon the success of Morphing Nature, the Garden looks forward to future collaborations with these and other higher education partners.
I look forward to seeing you in the Botanical Garden very soon!
Clayton Bass, CEO
Santa Fe Botanical Garden is a proud member of the American Public Gardens Association and the American Alliance of Museums.