As you can imagine, it was hard to plan and promote our programs this year because of the coronavirus.  Should we promote the VAMONOS program, for example, or would we not be able to gather?  Until we got more clarity, we did as much gorilla advertising as we could, putting the walks on every online calendar available and promoting them through this e-blast.  So, here’s the thing:  tomorrow is National Trails Day and Take a Kid Hiking Day!  Please join us tomorrow at 10 am (Saturday the 5th) at the Frijoles Trailhead at La Tierra Trails for a fun hike to celebrate both events!  See the details below.

In our last e-blast, I told you that we were getting ready to hire a new Conservation Specialist here at SFCT.  This has been a long time coming, as we had to increase our income enough to be able to afford expanding our staff, but meanwhile our land work was growing and becoming more challenging for just me and Melissa Houser, our land program manager, to handle.  We now work with over 100 landowners to protect almost 43,000 acres of land throughout northern New Mexico, land that offers public access in some cases, and protects scenic views, open space, cultural resources and the biodiversity of life that sustains us.  We have a strategic conservation plan to guide our conservation work over the next 10 years that we have been putting into place, and key to that was hiring a professional to help us connect our patchwork of conservation easements into larger, connected areas to reduce habitat fragmentation, the number one threat to biodiversity.  Thanks to all of you who have supported our work over the years, we were able to post the position, and I am excited to tell you that starting in July, we will be welcoming Ariel Patashnik to our staff as our new Conservation Specialist.

Ariel has spent the past seven years working for land trust organizations, first with the New Mexico Land Conservancy in Santa Fe, then with the Sonoma Land Trust in Santa Rosa, CA.  Most recently, she was the Land Acquisition Program Manager at the Sonoma Land Trust, which utilized her skills in stewarding the entire conservation easement process through from beginning to end.  Teamed with Melissa, our land program manager, both are going to reach out to a wider variety of landowners to protect the places we all love with the added benefit of strengthening our resilience to climate change by creating larger, landscape scale conservation areas.  Along with donors like you, this was a team effort to expand our capacity to protect land.  And it couldn’t have come at a better time, as the national effort to protect 30% of our land and water by 2030 gets underway. 

So thank you for the continuing role you play in helping us make our work even more impactful.  We wouldn’t be able to expand in this way without your generous support.

In gratitude,


Sarah Noss
Executive Director




VAMONOS: Santa Fe Walks is in full stride!

I hope you’ll enjoy these photos from our first month of Vámonos walks.  The turnout has been great!  We are seeking more volunteers to walk with us, to be with those who need to sit down for a rest, to walk people back who can’t go the whole way, and to help us with the sign ups and surveys.  The hallmark of these walks is that we all start off as strangers at the beginning of the walk, but by the end of it, we’re friends.  Come join us as a walker or volunteer!  For a full schedule of walks, click here.

Saturday, June 5 is Take a Kid Hiking Day!

As part of the Vámonos walks, Saturday, June 5th is Take a Kid Hiking Day.  We will meet at 10 am at the Frijoles Trailhead at the La Tierra Trails, located at 657-725 Camino de los Montoyas.  Everyone is invited!  It will be about a two hour outing on a moderately challenging dirt trail, so be sure to bring sunscreen, hats and water.  Details at   Depending on interest, this hike may include a sneak preview of our new La Tierra Chili Line Trail!

Galisteo Basin Erosion Control Workshops

June 10-19

Please sign up to learn erosion control techniques from a master, and to help SFCT employ these techniques to protect and restore a property in the Galisteo Basin – from 8 am to 1 pm on June 10, 11, 12, 18, and 19.  Lunch provided!  Check out details at and sign up for one or more dates on the sign-up sheet at

Save the Date for Our Biggest Event Ever

The Stewart Udall Legacy Community Conservation Celebration on Thursday, August 26 at 6:30 pm online and in person!  You’ll be treated to a magical evening filled with music, exceptional food and drinks, either in the comfort of your home or in community with other conservation lovers.  More details soon!  Interested in being a sponsor?  Click here for more information.

In Memoriam:  Bill Johnson

We were all so sad to learn of the death of Bill Johnson on May 21 of cancer at the age of 69.  Bill was a member of our Board of Directors for 18 years, and served as President for five of them.  His gentle and kind guidance, therefore, impacted SFCT for almost 2/3 of our 28 years in operation!  He, along with Dale Ball and Stewart Udall, helped to create SFCT’s trails legacy, which today includes SFCT’s participation in the creation of over 75 miles of trails in and around Santa Fe and a vibrant volunteer program to maintain them.  He helped to create the Arroyo Hondo Open Space and Trails and was the steward of them until his death.  When he wasn’t practicing psychiatry, you would see him around town on his bike, or up in the mountains on a trail, or helping to create new ones with his friends and colleagues.  He made our organization better and positively impacted everyone in our community because of his passion for recreational opportunities on open space and public land.  We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Denise, and his entire family.    You can read more about Bill on our website:


SFCT depends on the generosity of the community to fund our work.  SFCT partners with our community to keep northern New Mexico’s living lands and people flourishing together.  We protect environmentally significant landscapes, ignite people’s passion for nature and enable the continual regeneration of our healthy place.  If you believe in our mission, please make a donation today!