View from the Dry Garden at the Botanical Garden at Museum Hill in Santa Fe. Photo by Brian Koehl
SANTA FE ― The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is committed to protecting our delicate ecosystem and biodiversity through preserving our habitat and modeling how to prepare gardens for an uncertain future.
However, until recently, the organization has had only a modest research arm. The Botanical Garden is excited to announce that with its new partner, the Dancing Star Foundation, the organization will be able to deepen and expand the research it conducts and share with both the scientific community and the public through educational interpretive plans.
The awarded grant will allow for in-depth biological surveys to be conducted at the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve and the Botanical Garden at Museum Hill’s Piñon-Juniper Woodland, a 3.25 acre parcel slated to open in 2019. These surveys include installing motion-detection cameras, extensive recording of flora and fauna, and adding data to the growing collection of Citizen Science networks.
The Citizen Science volunteers are a dedicated group who monitor the biodiversity of plants, birds, nests, dragonflies, butterflies, and bumblebees at the Botanical Garden’s two sites.
“Dancing Star Foundation (DSF) is pleased to be collaborating with the Santa Fe Botanical Garden on multiple issues pertaining to biodiversity – on site at the gardens Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve and Piñon-Juniper Woodland,” say the foundation’s vice president Jane Gray Morrison and president Michael Charles Tobias. “DSF believes strongly that new biological research, citizen science and ecological outreach education programs are all key to an environmentally sustainable future.”
A founding member of the Rio Grande Phenology Network, the Botanical Garden currently tracks seasonal change up and down the Rio Grande Valley with the National Phenology Network. After receiving a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the organization created a full database of its plants through IrisBG. Although the Botanical Garden is proud of the thousands of data points we currently log each year, we want to have a broader reach that benefits our community, while deepening our understanding of trends during this critical period of climate change. Through the support of and partnership with the Dancing Star Foundation, the Botanical Garden is able to expand the scope and capacity of its research in the critical study of biodiversity.
In addition to the surveys, the grant will also create a staff position dedicated to monitoring the surveys and to studying the biodiversity of the two sites, as well as create interpretive signs at the sites to better educate the public on the data collected.
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 Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve and Botanical Garden at Museum Hill. The Santa Fe Botanical Garden currently hosts more than 60,000 visitors and 14,000 youth education engagements each year.