With more than three hundred species of butterflies and around one thousand species of bees, New Mexico boasts an impressive diversity of pollinators. In the Santa Fe area, pollinator habitat has been lost due to urban development. Fortunately, many pollinators are able to thrive in urban areas where landscaping includes a diversity of native plant species free of pesticides. To this end, the Xerces Society is offering habitat kits that contain climate-smart native plants to residents and local organizations willing to commit to providing the time, labor, and space to establish these plants in yards and gardens throughout urban Santa Fe.
We have two kits available for the Santa Fe Pollinator Trail, each featuring 32 small transplants of native perennial wildflowers and 1 native shrub/small tree. These plants will support a variety of pollinators from spring to fall and are grown pesticide-free by the Santa Ana Native Plant Nursery from locally sourced seeds of wild plants. All selected participants in the habitat kit program will receive a Xerces Pollinator Habitat sign to display with their habitat plantings.
- Low Water Kit. This kit contains 4 small transplants each of 8 native wildflower species which will require little to no water once established with 1 to 2 years of seasonal watering after planting. The wildflower transplants will cover about 200 square feet when spaced 1–2 feet apart. This kit includes 1 small tree (New Mexico olive), which may grow up to 15 feet tall and 12 feet wide.
- Low to Medium Water Kit. This kit contains 4 small transplants each of 8 native wildflower species which will require little to no water once established with 1 to 2 years of seasonal watering after planting, with the exception of two species—showy milkweed and bee balm—which will require ongoing regular watering or placement in a wetter location. The wildflower transplants will cover about 200 square feet spaced 1-2 feet apart. This kit includes 1 shrub (threeleaf sumac), which may grow up to 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide.
More information to download:
- Listing of species in the kits
- Habitat kit planting guide [Currently not available]
Who are the Kits for?
The kits are intended to be established in yards and home gardens of residential areas and select public locations, such as schools, libraries, public gardens, nature centers, parks, etc., in Santa Fe City limits and the directly adjacent urban areas. Habitat kit program participants must have approximately 300 square feet of planting area per habitat kit to accommodate all perennials plus the tree/shrub and be able to use the entire kit on one property, but it can be divided up within the area. For example, planting the low water use plants on the south side of your house and planting medium water use plants on the north side is an acceptable planting strategy.
If you rent the property where you reside, you must ask your property manager for permission to plant, plus be able to provide the contact information for the person who will maintain and provide reports on the plantings if you move.
Residents and organizations selected to receive a habitat kit must commit to picking up the plants at a designated pickup location in Santa Fe in fall 2021, establishing and caring for the plants, and submitting follow-up information and photos.
If you have questions about your project’s suitability or requests for technical guidance on your project, please email [email protected]
More information to download:
- Description of the Santa Fe Pollinator Trail Habitat Kit program [Currently not available]
How to Participate in the Santa Fe Pollinator Trail Habitat Kit Program
If you’d like to participate in this program, please fill out an interest form by 5:00pm on June 30. If you are a resident of Santa Fe who would like to plant a kit in your yard, please fill out the Residential Interest Form. If your organization, institution, or agency manages public space (library, school, park, nature preserve, public garden, etc.) where you would like to plant a kit, please fill out the Public Space Interest Form. Selected participants will be required to pick up their habitat kit from a designated pickup site in Santa Fe in September 2021 and submit follow-up information and photos after planting.
Please note that there are a limited number of kits and not everyone who expresses interest will receive one. Participants are selected based on the project information set out in the interest form as well as considerations such as location, maintenance plans, and outreach potential at public sites.
- Watch our webinar Protecting Pollinators in Santa Fe: Introducing the Santa Fe Pollinator Trail
- Read our blog post New in Santa Fe: Pollinator Trail and Habitat Kit Program
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should I contact if I have questions?
You can contact [email protected] with any questions about our Santa Fe Pollinator Trail Habitat Kit program.
How do I participate in the Habitat Kit Program?
Interest forms for the Santa Fe Pollinator Trail Habitat Kits will be available in mid-April. The form asks for information about where the kit will be planted, size of the area, and plans for site preparation, management, and maintenance, as well as plans for pesticide risk mitigation and outreach opportunities, if applicable.
What is required of all participants?
All participants are required to plant the kit within a reasonable amount of time after receiving the kit (1–2 weeks), and to follow the plan outlined in your interest form. Once the kit is planted, you must contact us to let us know the kit is planted, and share some photos. Participants will be contacted in summer 2022 to provide follow up information on the planting, such as plant survival numbers, photos of plantings, and comments on pollinator visitors. Participants will receive a Project Partner Collaborative Agreement that outlines all requirements prior to picking up the kit.
What plants are in the kits?
Download an information sheet that lists the species in the kits.
How much space do I need for a kit?
For one kit, you will need approximately 200 square feet for the perennial plants and a 12-foot x 12-foot area for the shrub or tree, depending on the kit. Please keep in mind that these plants can be planted in different areas of your property. See the plant list for approximate size of each plant species.
When will the kits be available?
Kits will be available for pick up in Santa Fe in September 2021.
How do I get my kit?
Kits will be transported from Santa Ana Native Plant Nursery and available for pick up in Santa Fe. Location TBD.
Can I have the kit delivered to me?
No. Kits must be picked up by participants.
Can I purchase a kit on my own?
No. These kits are not available for public purchase.
How did you decide what plants to include in the kits?
Plants were chosen to provide the best foraging resources for native pollinators in the Santa Fe area. The selection was based on numerous sources, such as technical reports, research datasets, and communications with local pollinator experts. Other considerations that determined species selection included seed availability, ease of greenhouse propagation, and fall planting suitability.
Can I get technical assistance for creating and maintaining my kit?
Yes! We are happy to help. You may contact [email protected] with questions about your project and for advice on how to ensure that your project will be successful. You can also find a variety of informational materials on our website.
Planting guide for our Santa Fe Pollinator Trail Habitat Kits coming soon!
I am a Santa Fe resident and would like to plant habitat kits in my yard. How many kits can I request?
Residents can request up to 2 kits for use in their home gardens and yards.
I am a representative of a public space (school, library, yard, park, nature center, etc.) in Santa Fe and would like to plant habitat kits in this public space. How many kits can I request?
Public space organizations can request up to 4 kits for one location.
I do not live in the Santa Fe area. Am I eligible for a kit?
Unfortunately, we can only provide kits to people who will be planting them in urban Santa Fe. We also have habitat kits available in California, and the Northeast region (deadline passed for 2021). Over time, we hope to expand our habitat kit program to further parts of the country.
How can I support the Xerces habitat kit program?
The habitat kits are possible thanks to the generosity of Xerces Society donors and members. Find out how you can support the Xerces Society at https://xerces.org/donate