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,
Volunteers are worth their weight in gold. On second thought, they are even more valuable than gold, and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden is proof! When one considers the amazing range of programs and experiences we offer to our members and visitors from near and far, these offerings would not be possible without our loyal team of SFBG volunteers. The Botanical Garden came into existence due to the passionate vision of committed volunteers. So from the beginning volunteers have been the key ingredient to the Garden. As we prepare to thank our volunteers at the volunteer appreciation event, I offer my personal thanks as well.
Just a reminder to everyone who loves the combination of beautiful gardens combined with fine art, be sure to experience Christy Hengst’ terrific exhibition, Birds In The Garden, at SFBG this spring. Christy’s whimsical, topical birds have added a wonderful element to the Garden since December. We appreciate Christy’s generous partnership in this effort. The birds can be purchased, with a discount to members, with a portion benefitting the Garden. For more information inquire at the SFBG office or admissions kiosk.
I look forward to seeing you in the Garden soon!
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.