The Santa Fe Conservation Trust (SFCT) was envisioned over breakfast discussions at the Tecolote Café with Bill deBuys, Leslie Barclay and Margo Cutler in the early 1990s.  It blossomed under Dale Ball’s leadership in 1993 when Atalaya Peak was going to be developed and a road had been bladed across its face, visible from everywhere in Santa Fe.  It took an Act of Congress to resolve the Atalaya issue, so in 1994, former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall joined the board to help, staying on for nine years.  Thanks to the support of these founders and many people like you who care about protecting our natural environment, SFCT continues to preserve the land and cultural sites that tell the story of place, keep our air and water clean, protect wildlife habitat, defend scenic views and provide open space for recreation and enjoyment.

SFCT’s trails program brings a wonderful balance to this work, providing opportunities for the community to have a direct connection to nature.  Walter Ganz, a board member starting in 1996, oversaw SFCT’s first trail project, the improvement of the Atalaya Trail.  From there, SFCT had a hand in the development of 75 miles of dirt trails for outdoor recreation and enjoyment.  Today, hundreds of volunteers, led by SFCT’s trails manager, maintain the trails.  And we offer hikes, field trips, community cruises and urban walks to  ensure equitable and inclusive use of Santa Fe’s amazing trails.

Here’s a timeline of SFCT’s accomplishments since its founding in 1993.

Dale and Sylvia Ball

1993-1994 – SFCT is founded.  SFCT works with nine parties to reach an agreement to preserve Atalaya mountain.  Santa Fe County passes the Mountain Ordinance to prevent further hilltop development.

1997-1998 – SFCT works with the State and Santa Fe County to purchase a 12-mile easement along the Santa Fe Southern Railway line between Santa Fe and Lamy to create the Rail Trail.

1999-2002 – SFCT works with the County on the Spur Trail to connect the Santa Fe Community College to the Rail Trail.  Negotiations include trail crossings on the Veteran’s Memorial Bypass (599).

Arroyo Hondo Open Space

2001-2004 – The Arroyo Hondo Open Space Committee is formed to preserve 86-acres as an open, public access area.  SFCT funds an interpretive trail on the newly created County Open Space.

2004 – SFCT is awarded the Piñon Award for Excellence in the Environment.

2007-2010 – SFCT joins a community-wide effort to protect the west side of Sun Mountain from development, creating City Open Space and a conservation easement held by SFCT.

2008 – Successfully lobbied against the Oil and Gas exploration in the Galisteo Basin, leading to the moratorium. Dark Skies program launched.

2011-2012 – La Piedra Open Space and Trail created. With the help of numerous volunteers, the La Piedra Trail is completed, connecting the Dale Ball Trail system with the Santa Fe National Forest.

2014 – SFCT becomes a nationally accredited land trust.  Passport to Trails program starts.  SFCT begins trail maintenance for the City of Santa Fe.

Railyard Park & Plaza

2015 – SFCT accepts the 15.7-acre Santa Fe Railyard Park and Plaza conservation easement.

2016 – SFCT is awarded the Mayor’s Sustainability Award for transportation under the Trails Program.

2017 – SFCT is awarded the Mayor’s Sustainability Award for environmental protection.

2018 – Vámonos: Santa Fe Walks launches and reaches hundreds of walkers.


Upcoming Events

10:00 am Vamonos – Walk with Our Elders @ Bicentennial/Alto Park
Vamonos – Walk with Our Elders @ Bicentennial/Alto Park
Jul 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
All walks meet on Friday at 10 AM at 1121 Alto Street and we’ll walk in Bicentennial/Alto Park. One walk per month: June 25th July 30th August 26th September 24th October 22nd For more information[...]
10:00 am Vamonos Hikes
Vamonos Hikes
Aug 7 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
All hikes happen once a month on a Saturday at 10 am (except in October at 3 PM).  Locations vary for each hike. One hike per month, June through October: June 5th Vámonos Hike, National[...]
6:00 pm Vamonos – Take a Walk on the Sou... @ Southside Library
Vamonos – Take a Walk on the Sou... @ Southside Library
Aug 10 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
All southside walks meet at 6 PM at 6599 Jaguar Drive and go from the Southside Library to Arroyo Chamiso Trail One walk per month: May 18th June 15th July 13th August 10th September 7th[...]
9:00 am Insider Tour – Garden of the Gods
Insider Tour – Garden of the Gods
Aug 14 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Insider Tour - Garden of the Gods
Santa Fe Conservation Trust 2021 INSIDER TOURS Ruins · Artifacts · Views · Historical Sites Rare opportunities to explore archaeological and geological sites on private land. R.S.V.P. by phone (505) 989-7019 or email Garden[...]
5:30 pm Vamonos – Wellness Walk @ Larragoite Park
Vamonos – Wellness Walk @ Larragoite Park
Aug 18 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
All wellness walks meet at 5:30 PM at Larragoite Park on Cristobal Colon to the Acequia Trail to Ashbaugh Park and back. One walk per month: May 26th June 23rd July 21st August 18th September[...]

2019 Annual Report