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.
Letter from Clayton Bass, CEO
Dear Botanical Garden Friends,
While driving past Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve today I was greeted with a brilliant splash of mint green crowning the treetops. This harbinger of spring brought a smile and a hearty “yes!”— my involuntary, joyful response. Yesterday spring officially arrived, and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s (SFBG) hibernation is erupting into a riot of green buds and blooms.
The Garden has been a magical place during the winter. Visitors marveled at its beauty, sometimes covered with a soft blanket of snow or brushed with color and light during the GLOW winter lights event, which attracted over 2,500 children and adults. Christy Hengst: Birds In The Garden sculpture exhibition also added whimsy and discovery. If you haven’t seen the exhibition, it’s not too late. The Birds will remain through April 23rd. Also, plan to attend a reception on April 5th at 3:00 p.m. when Christy unveils new Botanical Garden inspired birds. Remember the birds are for sale, with a generous member’s discount, and a portion of proceeds benefitting the Garden. Thanks to Christy for her generous partnership throughout this project!
Spring in the Garden will reveal a new work of natural art in the form of 4,000 bulbs, in many shades of blue, planted in a perfect circle centered in the Orchard Garden. This work of living sculpture, conceived by the Botanical Garden’s landscape architect Gary Smith, will continue to evolve and bloom, inspiring return visits to experience this changing work of beauty. Gary thanks for sharing another poetic idea!
Other new developments in the Garden include a redesigned ADA accessible Art Trail, complete with four new benches given by generous donors. The first sculpture exhibition to be presented along the new Art Trail is Kevin Box: Origami In The Garden, opening on April 26 and continuing through October 25, 2014. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is honored to be the premiere venue for this exhibition before it continues on a national tour of other botanical gardens. For more information and to see works from Origami In The Garden, visit the SFBG and Box Studio websites.
I hope you will plan to visit the Garden often to experience the magic of spring and world-class fine art. I look forward to seeing you there!
Clayton Bass, CEO
We hope you find our newly designed website to be easy to navigate, filled with useful information, and an extension of friendship to gardeners everywhere.
We especially love getting feedback from across the globe with questions about plants that are featured in our Plant Database.
Please enjoy the photo images of our spectacular New Mexican landscapes captured at our nature preserves.