Water Sustains Santa Fe's Trees & Bees
The City Different’s Urban Forest
The core principal of TreeSmart Santa Fe is that cultivating a healthy canopy is not just about planting more trees. It is about planting the right tree (and sometimes other vegetation), in the right place, with the right resources, at the right time. Learn more
Listen to our Que Suave Radio podcast with special guests Mayor Alan Webber and Councilor Carol Romero-Wirth. They discussed the City of Santa Fe's new TreeSmart Santa Fe initiative, which aims to increase and protect the city's tree canopy. Also visit https://treesmart-thecitydifferent.hub.arcgis.com, an ongoing source of information.
Bee City USA
Santa Fe to be a Bee City USA Affiliate
Water sustains Santa Fe's trees. Water brings our urban forest to life. Trees and other vegetation contribute to shading, clean air and water, aethetic beauty, food for pollinators, and habitat for wildlife. We must ensure there’s enough water to meet the needs of our urban forest. Value water.
What is an urban forest and how does it relate to Santa Fe’s water?
If you live in a city, you live in some version of an urban forest. Parks, street trees, river corridors (riparian vegetation), landscaped areas like roadsides and medians, urban gardens, nature preserves, and any other green space including residential yards are what make up our urban forest.
Water is a critical need for Santa Fe's urban forest to thrive and the benefits are profound. Our urban ecosystem serves both people and wildlife. Trees and other vegetation help filter air and water, control storm water by reducing erosion, and save water and energy by shading which reduces evaporation and helps to minimize the needs for artificial cooling. Urban forests also provide an environment for recreation and they add economic value to our community. The beauty of Santa Fe's urban forest is an undeniably priceless aesthetic value.
Water conservation helps ensure that our urban forest receives the water it needs to provide us with these benefits as well as provide needed habitat for pollinators and wildlife. Value water.
Santa Fe Public Spaces Tree Inventory
The mission of the Municipal Tree Board is to advocate for the health and proper care of the Urban Forest and to provide education to the public regarding the importance of benefits of the Urban Forest.
The Extension Master Gardeners of Santa Fe are working in liaison with the City of Santa Fe Municipal Tree Board to inventory the city trees, beginning with the parks system. By collecting species, diameter, condition, and location data, we are learning to identify trees, pests that afflict the trees, and factors influencing tree health. Tree identification and data collection workshops teach master gardeners, interns, and the public as well as build leadership in this citizen science effort. The community driven approach to collection ripples into the private gardens of our urban forest through proper species selection and knowledge of tree care. This project helps to build the urban forest through local education, while also providing the information to the Parks Division for further assessment, follow-up maintenance, and good decision making. Learn more at https://www.santafenm.gov/municipal_tree_board
Plant Native Plants!
Our very own Water Conservation Office has two types of demonstration xeriscape gardens: a mostly native cactus garden generously donated and planted by the Cactus Rescue Project which so far has required no irrigation, and a non-cactus garden donated by the Santa Fe Master Gardeners which requires minimal irrigation especially since the plants have become more established. Please contact the water conservation office directly if you are interested in a tour. Plant lists are available for you to download:
Plant Native Plants, Shrubs, and Trees
The Native Plant Society of New Mexico educates the public about native plants by promoting knowledge of plant identification, ecology, and uses; fostering plant conservation and the preservation of natural habitats; supporting botanical research; and encouraging the appropriate use of native plants to conserve water, land, and wildlife. Check out A Guide to Native Plants for the Santa Fe Landscape to learn about the best species choices to support our urban forest.
Make Every Drop Count!
The trees and vegetation at your home or business are part of Santa Fe's urban forest. Make every drop count by following our suggested watering schedule and check out the video below that shows how simple efforts like capturing sink water indoors can help supplement your outdoor watering.
Santa Fe is Tree City USA
The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. This nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees.
More than 3,400 communities have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA and Santa Fe is proud to be one of them.