Exhibits Case Studies

Santa Fe Children's Museum

1050 Old Pecos Trail
Santa Fe, NM, 87505

505.989.8359 (p)
505.989.7506 (f)
Jason Scott, Earthworks Coordinator (contact) earthworks@santafechildrensmuseum.org



Project Size: Approx. 43,560 sq. ft. (one acre)
Project Budget: 1992 initial budget (during construction phase) was $200,000 (approx. cost per square foot = $4.59); Earthworks' current yearly operations budget is approx. $100,000.

Exhibit/Project Description:
Earthworks is the Santa Fe Children's Museum's one-acre outdoor learning environment. Earthworks provides a place for museum visitors to engage in an inquiry-based education in the natural sciences, space for children and adults to connect with the natural world, and exemplifies a working model of sustainable Southwestern gardening techniques. Earthworks features several types of fully organic gardens, a greenhouse, xeriscaping, an extensive water catchment and recycling system, a composting area, a small pond ecosystem, and is home to a variety of animals.

Factors Affecting Decision to "Go Green":
Sustainability is included among the core values of the Santa Fe Children's Museum, which are: "the power of play, partnership, integrity, respect, sustainability, lifelong learning, environmental responsibility, diversity, excellence, leadership, nurturing families, creativity, and fun."

Concern over lack of regional environmental literacy among New Mexico children, and commitment to providing an outdoor exploration/learning area for children were the chief reasons that the Museum decided to go green.

Distinguishing green features: Fully organic gardens, xeriscaping (many native and drought-tolerant plants are featured in our gardens), water catchment and recycling, nutrient recycling (use of green waste and animal waste produced on site for compost purposes).

Green products used: All fertilizers, compost, etc. used in our gardens are organic.

Piece of advice for others regarding project: If you are considering implementing a green exhibit similar to Earthworks and have any questions, please feel free to contact us.