The Santa Fe Girls’ School announces a fund to protect the Santa Fe River and Wetlands.

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New Mexico Community Foundation

502 West Cordova Road, Suite 1 Santa Fe, NM 87505, Santa Fe NM 87505


You can make a donation online at: | Donations Please


Phone | 505-820-3188

The Santa Fe Girls’ School announces a fund to protect the Santa Fe

River and Wetlands on its 9-acre property within the La Cieneguilla

portion of the Santa Fe River Watershed. The School is engaged in

litigation to establish protection for the site. The judge’s ruling in this

case has the potential to establish legal precedent and impact the rights

of landowners, now and in the future, to restore and support natural

habitat and ecology on their land.

The property is the outdoor laboratory for Boots in the River: Emerging

Scientists, a hands-on environmental science program for middle school

students. As land stewards, they have been working for 13 years to restore

this wetland to a healthy riparian environment. Student-scientists’ efforts

have resulted in invaluable scientific data that is shared with other agencies,

private and public. This information has helped inform public policy and

furthered understanding of the natural dynamics of a healthy river,

a flourishing riparian habitat, and a fully functioning wetland.

This land stewardship has led to marked environmental regeneration of

the site’s ecosystem, and beaver families have arrived and built a dam. This

dam has further enhanced the habitat and the wetland is flourishing, host-
ing a diverse range of wildlife, including the endangered Willow Flycatcher

and Leopard Frog.


An adjacent downstream neighbor has sued the School claiming the

wildlife, particularly the beaver, is a nuisance and has adversely affected his

land. He asserts that it is his right to kill the beaver and remove the dam

that is on the school’s property.

The school’s position is that the beaver is natural to the ecology of a wetland

and floodplain and their activities enhance rather than harm the neighbor’s

land by raising the groundwater level and bringing nutrients as well as water

to thirsty cottonwoods and meadows.



A Call for Your Support!

In Partnership With the New Mexico Community Foundation

Bottom Photo: The Santa Fe Girls’ School property

in La Cieneguilla prior to restoration efforts.


The Santa Fe Girls’ School’s legal case advocates for landowners’ rights

to restore and maintain natural habitat and ecology on their property

and to protect the wildlife that is attracted to it. The legal decision

in this case will affect landowners statewide and may have broader

implications. If the School’s rights are upheld in court, its outdoor

science laboratory also will continue to flourish and Boots in the River will

continue to inspire young women to find their passion as environmental

scientists and advocates.

We invite you to join us in defending the riparian habitat and wildlife

of the PRESERVE and, moreover, set a precedent that protects the rights

of landowners and stewards to make environmentally sound decisions and

will assure the health of rivers, and their surrounding environments for our

future generations.

Will you stand with us to defend the rights of landowners to restore

and steward a natural habitat?

As you know litigation is costly. We firmly believe this case is worth the

battle because of its broader implications.

Please join us in protecting not only our land, but also the rights

of others to restore ecosystems throughout the state.

Thank you for your support. We can’t do this without you.

You can make a donation online at:

You can also make your donation by check made out to:

New Mexico Community Foundation, and note that it is

for the Santa Fe River & Wetlands Protection Fund.

Send To:

Santa Fe River & Wetlands Protection Fund

C/O the New Mexico Community Foundation

502 West Cordova Road, Suite 1

Santa Fe, NM 87505