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 Members and Friends,
Appreciation, from the heart, is a sentiment that can never be expressed too often when one is fortunate enough to be the recipient of generosity, kindness or support. From my point of view as CEO, I am continually amazed at the shared passion and unwavering commitment offered so freely to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden by its members, volunteers and staff. As I have said many times, the Botanical Garden would not exist and continue to grow without the commitment and support of the Santa Fe community. On behalf of the Garden’s Board of Directors and staff, thanks to our members and friends for your unwavering support.
Looking forward, the Garden’s reach and positive educational impact will continue to grow through continued refinement, cultivation of new friends, and investment from a growing base of support. As the autumn days grow shorter and the holidays are upon us, I encourage you to consider a year end gift to the Botanical Garden. The Garden’s year end appeal letter is about to be mailed, and contains exciting updates on our first twelve months of operations and innovative educational programs and partnerships. I hope you will give the letter careful consideration and know that your gift will be greatly appreciated. Remember your support translates into fertile soil where our Garden can grow!
Now close your eyes, and imagine a wonderland—illuminated, magical, yet familiar. Are you ready to GLOW? The Garden will be ready by December 3 for a preview party you won’t want to miss. The Garden staff has been working diligently for months to re-imagine last year’s successful winter lights event. GLOW 2014 will expand in size, include colorful lighting on the Red Bridge and Art Trail, and introduce heated geodesic domes with sound and light shows. Santa will hold court on the first three Friday evenings, December 5, 12 and 19, so make your wish list and get ready. This year’s event will feature a wide range of entertainment, plus delicious food and delectable beverages for a crisp winter’s night. Early bird savings, through November 15, and preview party tickets are already available on-line at www.santafebotanicalgarden.org/events/glow/, so gather your friends and family and plan to spend a magical evening at the Botanical Garden. More information about GLOW is available on the Garden’s website.
The Garden’s next sculpture exhibition, Morphing Nature, is collaboration with the Institute of American Indian Arts and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Sculpture students from each school are creating site specific works along the Art Trail made from recycled plant materials from the Garden’s phase two site across the Red Bridge. The exhibition’s free opening reception will be on November 14 from 3pm to 5pm in the Garden. Please plan to attend and meet the participating artists. The exhibition will continue through mid-April 2015.
As you consider holiday gifts for friends and loved ones, remember a membership to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden is the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Not only can members visit the Garden for free during the year, but they also receive great discounts in the Garden gift shop and on many other workshops and activities. A Garden membership includes the reciprocal program for free or discounted admission to over two hundred botanical gardens in the US. Now there’s a compelling offer.
Contact Valerie Rangel, Membership Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about becoming a member or gift memberships.
Thanks again for your support of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. And remember, it’s almost time to LET IT GLOW!!!
I look forward to seeing you there!
Clayton Bass, CEO