Galisteo Basin Preserve

Listen to the sounds of the Galisteo Basin Preserve recorded by David Dunn

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UPCOMING EVENTS

In September & October, Commonweal staff and volunteers will be working to complete five miles of new trails. The forthcoming “Central Basin Trails” will expand the Preserve's trail network to include nearly 27 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian travelways.
   
Mark your calendar to attend one or more of the trail building workshops:

National Public Lands Day Volunteer Trail Building Workshop
Saturday, September 27th, 8:30 am - 1:30 pm

Commonweal staff, the Friends of the Preserve, and community volunteers will celebrate National Public Lands Day with a special morning trail building workshop co-sponsored with REI and the Trails Alliance of Santa Fe.

Volunteers will complete work on trail sections originating from the Cottonwood Trailhead. Light snacks, t-shirts and raffle prizes will be provided to participants in recognition of their stewardship service.

Volunteer Trail Building Workshop
Sunday, October 12th, 8:30 am - 1:30 pm

On the morning of October 12th, Commonweal staff, the Friends of the Preserve, and community volunteers will join together to complete the Central Basin trails and put the finishing touches on the expanded Cottonwood Trailhead. The day should offer volunteers an opportunity to celebrate the “turn to fall,” as well as support the Preserve’s stewardship needs.

A trails map with new pathway highlighted in green is available for download by clicking here. Stay tuned for more information regarding these events.

 

 

PAST EVENTS

 

Commonweal's 10th Anniversary Star Party Gala
Saturday, October 12th, 5 pm - 9 pm
Please join Commonweal Conservancy, the Santa Fe Conservation Trust and the Capital City Astronomy Club to celebrate Commonweal's 10th Anniversary.

  • Feast on a delicious New Mexican buffet supper provided by the award-winning Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
  • As the sun sets over the ridgeline of the Preserve, dance to the live bluegrass music of Kitty Jo Creek Band.
  • As twilight gathers (around 6:45 pm) astronomer Peter Lipscomb will guide us on a tour of the night sky. Members of the Capital City Astronomy Club will be on hand with their telescopes to share the wonders of the visible cosmos.

Location: Galisteo Basin Preserve | Cowboy Shack Trailhead.
Food: A New Mexican buffet supper of chicken and vegetarian enchiladas, mixed green salad, jalapeno cornbread, dessert and drinks will be provided.
Terrain: The dinner, music and star gazing will take place in a grassy meadow on uneven ground.
Bring: Sturdy shoes, appropriate layers of clothing to take you into a chilly evening, flashlight, picnic blanket and/or camp chairs.
Tickets: Tickets are $35 per adult and $15 per child (under age 16).

Volunteer Trail Building Workshop
Click here to view the Galisteo Basin Preserve trail map >
Saturday, September 28th, 8:30 am - 1 pm
Commonweal staff, Friends of the Preserve and other volunteers will celebrate National Public Lands Day with a special morning trail building workshop co-sponsored by REI, the Fat Tire Society of Santa Fe, PNM Resources Foundation and the Santa Fe Trails Alliance. During this workshop, volunteers will complete construction of 3.74 miles of new trails for hiking and mountain bike riding. Light snacks, t-shirts and raffle prizes will be part of the fun. Volunteers should bring work gloves, hat, water, sunscreen and wear closed toe, heavy work boots.

Volunteer Trail Building Workshops
Saturday, September 21th, 8:30 am - 1 pm
During this morning workshop, Commonweal staff, the Friends of the Preserve and other volunteers will begin the finishing work on 3.74 miles of new trails for hiking and mountain bike riding. Commonweal is very grateful to REI, the Fat Tire Society of Santa Fe, PNM Resources Foundation and the Santa Fe Trails Alliance, whose generous support makes possible the trail network's expansion and the development of a new trailhead. Volunteers should bring work gloves, hat, water, sunscreen and wear closed toe, heavy work boots.

Guided Archaeology Tour
Saturday, July 13th, 9 am - 12 noon
A guided archaeology tour of the Galisteo Basin Preserve with Cherie Scheick, founder and president of the Rio Grande Foundation for Communities and Cultural Landscapes - archaeological consultants who have long-supported Commonweal in surveying and protecting the Galisteo Basin Preserve's cultural heritage.

Guided Geology Tour & Picnic Dinner
Friday, August 2nd, 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
A bring-your-own-picnic dinner and geology tour of the Preserve with geologist and photographer, Kirt Kempter.

Free Volunteer Trail Building Workshop at the Galisteo Basin Preserve to Celebrate National Public Lands Day
Hosted by Commonweal Conservancy + REI
Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thanks to a very generous grant from REI, Commonweal Conservancy is adding 2.3 miles to the publicly accessible trail network at the Galisteo Basin Preserve. The new loop trail will create a key connection between the Preserve’s most popular single-track trails and an existing two-track ranch road loop in the southern part of the Preserve. The new loop also extends the trail network into a valley on the western side of the Preserve that has previously not been open to the public.

Volunteers will meet at the Cowboy Shack trailhead at 8:45 am. After a brief orientation, volunteers will leave at 9 am to begin the trail work. Volunteers will have lunch on the trail and return to the Cowboy Shack by 1:30 pm.

Participants will get an REI Volunteer Get Dirty Shirt. Commonweal and REI will also provide light snacks, water and all necessary tools. Volunteers should bring a sack lunch, sunscreen, water bottles & work gloves and wear pants, long-sleeve shirt, hat and heavy work boots.

 

Galisteo Basin Preserve night sky

 

 

 

2011 Galisteo Basin Preserve Photography Contest | WINNERS
Judges: Edward Ranney + Don Usner (click on judges' names to access bios)

Thank you to all the wonderful amateur and professional photographers who entered Commonweal Conservancy's first annual Galisteo Basin Preserve Photography Contest! We really enjoyed seeing the variety of images of the Galisteo Basin's remarkable geography—and we're already looking forward to the next GBP Photography Contest.

Judges and esteemed photographers Edward Ranney + Don Usner have chosen the following winning photographs, noting their subtlety, intimacy, and story-telling value. They focused on images that "embraced the truth of the land's history and form" and that celebrated the region's quiet textures and shadows over its large-scale drama. Images that demonstrated a unique artistic style and spirit of eccentricity were given preference over more predictable, traditionally presented landscape photographs. For the judges, the strongest images demonstrated a deep connection to place; by Ed Ranney's assessment, these images are "very well seen."

Congratulations to Evalyn Bemis, Carrie McCarthy, and Richard Shuff!

The top three photographs will be featured soon in a Galisteo Basin Preserve website photo gallery (click here to see the current GBP photo gallery) and are posted now as a Facebook photo album (click here to see them on our GBP Facebook page).

Special thanks to Edward Ranney and Don Usner for their time and enthusiasm. Thanks to The Santa Fe Camera Center, who provided a large-scale print (24” wide) of the winning photograph. Each of the top three photographers received a Galisteo Basin Preserve cap and stainless-steel water bottle.

Stay tuned for the 2012 Galisteo Basin Photography Contest!

1st Place: Evalyn Bemis

Evalyn Bemis, Galisteo Basin

2nd Place: Carrie McCarthy

Carrie McCarthy, Galisteo Basin

3rd Place: Richard Shuff

Richard Shuff, Galisteo Basin

 

Trails + Telescopes: Hike - Picnic - Star Party at the Galisteo Basin Preserve
with the Santa Fe Conservation Trust and the Capital City Astronomy Club
Saturday, October 1, 2011

What a spectacular event! We had a gorgeous fall day and a great community turnout for our 2011 Trails + Telescopes Star Party at the Galisteo Basin Preserve!

Two hiking groups were guided along GBP trails to a ridgeline overlook by Commonweal Conservancy President Ted Harrison and Santa Fe Conservation Trust Director Charlie O'Leary. Upon their return, we gathered in the golden evening for a bring-your-own-picnic dinner, music by Eric Carlson + the Mystery Ship, and hot cider and biscochitos. Twilight ushered in astronomer Peter Lipscomb, who oriented us to a dark, clear, star-filled night sky, and members of the Capital City Astronomy Club guided our stargazing through a range of telescopes.

Thank you to everyone who came to this special event and contributed a donation to make it all happen. We are grateful to have been able to gather with you all!

Galisteo Basin Preserve night sky

Galisteo Basin Preserve night sky

The Figure in the Western Landscape
Santa Fe Photographic Workshops with photographer Allen Birnbach
July 31 - August 6, 2011

Santa Fe Photographic Workshops offers state-of-the-art education and resources for photographers from around the world.  This summer, fine-art photographer Allen Birnbach led “The Figure in the Western Landscape,” a workshop whose field sessions toook place within the Galisteo Basin Preserve.

For more information about the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, visit www.santafeworkshops.com. For more information about Allen Birnbach, visit birnbachfigureworks.com, www.birnbachimages.com, or www.allenbirnbach.com.

Allen Birnbach photo

Trails + Telescopes
Hidden Treasures of the Galisteo Basin: Histories of Rocks + People
with Earth Works Institute
Sunday, May 22, 2011

What a great, full day! We were joined by an enthusiastic group of friends in exploring the geology and archaeology of the Galisteo Basin Preserve -- thanks to geologist Kirt Kempter and archaeologist Eric Blinman for guiding a GBP trail walk and a special excursion to the Galisteo Springs conservation and restoration area. It was fun to unveil an interpretive sign about the restoration of wetlands and riparian areas near the Cowboy Shack Trailhead, and we appreciated help planting trees along the Arroyo de los Angeles wetlands.

Galisteo Basin Preserve geology

Galisteo Basin Preserve Orchard Pruning + Planting Workshop
Saturday, April 2, 2011, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Thank you to Carolyn Cooley of Carolyn Cooley Fine Pruning for her guidance on the pruning and planting of fruit trees! With Carollyn's instruction, a full and enthusiastic turnout, and some nice spring weather, we enjoyed good company and a productive morning, adding 24 new trees to the Galisteo Basin Preserve Orchard!

GBP Orchard pruning Cooley

Trails + Telescopes: Guided hike at the Galisteo Basin Preserve
with Earth Works Institute
Saturday, October 9, 2010, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

We spent lovely Saturday morning exploring the public trails at the Galisteo Basin Preserve with Jan-Willem Jansens, executive director of Earth Works Institute. This guided hike was part of EWI's "Stories of the Land" outreach program.

GBP arroyo hike

Trails + Telescopes: Guided hike at the Galisteo Basin Preserve
with Earth Works Institute
Saturday, September 25, 2010, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

We spent lovely Saturday morning exploring the public trails at the Galisteo Basin Preserve with Jan-Willem Jansens, executive director of Earth Works Institute. This guided hike was part of EWI's "Stories of the Land" outreach program.

Gallisteo Basin Preserve Thumb Trailhead

Trails + Telescopes: Guided hike and picnic — Cultural History + Permaculture Work
with Earth Works Institute

Saturday, September 18, 2010, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

The Friends of the Preserve and Earth Works Institute enjoyed a guided hike and box-lunch picnic at the GBP. Archaeologist Cheri Scheick presented an overview of the Galisteo Basin's cultural history and Jan-Willem Jansens of Earth Works Institute offered an introduction to the permaculture work that is underway within the Preserve.

Hiking in the Preserve

Trails + Telescopes: BBQ Star Party at the Galisteo Basin Preserve
with the Santa Fe Conservation Trust and the Capital City Astronomy Club
Saturday, August 21, 2010, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

The stars were aligned for this year's BBQ Star Party at the Galisteo Basin Preserve. We enjoyed a delicious BBQ picnic from Santa Fe's own Cowgirl BBQ while the sun set over the Preserve. The almost-full moon didn't stop astronomer Peter Lipscomb and the Capital City Astronomy Club from guiding us through the starry night sky. It was a perfect end-of-summer evening.

Galisteo Basin Preserve picnic

Trails + Telescopes: Guided hike at the Galisteo Basin Preserve: "Tracking"/On the Paths of Wildlife
with Earth Works Institute's "Stories of the Land" program
Saturday, July 10, 2010, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

We spent a lovely Saturday morning exploring the public trails wildlife tracks at the Galisteo Basin Preserve with Mitch Johnson and Peter Callen from Pathways, a wildlife tracking and educational organization based in Placitas, NM. Facilitated by Earth Works Institute, we followed pathways of wildlife and found prints of mice, wood rats, rabbit, lizards, squirrels, birds, dogs (of course), and even some of a badger.

GBP wildlife hike

Campfire Storytelling at the Galisteo Basin Preserve: Making a living in the Galisteo Basin
with Earth Works Institute's "Stories of the Land" program
Saturday, July 3, 2010, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

The old tradition of campfire storytelling was rekindled out at the Galisteo Basin Preserve on July 3. We enjoyed the quiet sunset around a small fire with a sweeping view of the Galisteo Basin and shared stories about the land and its people. Led by Jan-Willem Jansens of Earth Works Institute, we asked: How have people eked out a living over time in this old landscape? What dreams, stories, values, and treasures compelled them to settle, stay, and live in this land? What does the land tell us about how to live here? As the stories continued, the spay-toed frogs came out in full force and we roasted marshmallows until 10pm.

GBP campfire stories

Summer solstice presentation + hike with author Craig Childs
with the Vista Grande Public Library and Earth Works Institute
Monday, June 21, 2010, 5:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Craig Childs, author of The Secret Knowledge of Water, gave a brilliant presentation at the Galisteo Basin Preserve. The Summer Solstice Celebreation event was organized by the Vista Grande Public Libary, in conjunction with the State Library of New Mexico, as part of the library's summer reading program. We enjoyed picnics and Craig Childs' talk at the Cowboy Shack Trailhead, and then went on a guided hike through some of the Galisteo Basin Preserve trails and waterways with Jan-Willem Jansens, executive director of Earth Works Institute.

Visit the Vista Grande Public Library's website to see pictures of the event.

Vista Grande Public Library logo

Childs book cover

Trails + Telescopes: Star Party at the Galisteo Basin Preserve
with the Santa Fe Conservation Trust and the Capital City Astronomy Club
Saturday, June 12, 2010, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

We had a great time at the Galisteo Basin Preserve for this Summer Star Party! Thank you to the sold-out crowd that joined the Santa Fe Conservation Trust, the Capital City Astronomy Club, and Commonweal Conservancy for a lovely sunset picnic, live music from local band Sadhouse Daddy, and guided stargazing beneath a spectacular night sky!

astronomer

National Trails Day booth at the Santa Fe Artist Market
Saturday, June 5, 2010, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Thanks to everyone who visited Commonweal Conservancy's National Trails Day booth at the Artist Market. We had a good time sharing Galisteo Basin Preserve trail maps, talking about the vision of the Galisteo Basin Preserve, and welcoming new members to our Friends of the Preserve community stewardship program. Click here to learn more about the Friends of the Preserve. Click here to download a pdf file of the Preserve's public trails map brochure. We hope to see you out on the trails!

mountain biker

Trails + Telescopes: Evening Star Train
April 16, 2010 - 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM

Thank you for joining Commonweal Conservancy, the Santa Fe Conservation Trust, the Santa Fe Southern Railway, and the Capital City Astronomy Club for this event.  The night was too cloudy for great stargazing, so astronomer Peter Lipscomb gave a presentation on board the train while attendees enjoyed a dinner buffet.  Peter presented his personal findings from a trip to Chaco Canyon’s Supernova Pictograph (see picture on right), which is thought to depict a supernova event from July 4, 1054.  While it’s hard to say definitively what the pictograph represents, Peter’s computer simulation of the night sky on the morning the supernova first became visible at Chaco Canyon suggests that the rock art is a record of the 1054 supernova—an object we now call the Crab Nebula.

Supernova Pictograph photo

Fresh Connections
A Santa Fe Alliance networking event to start off the 2010 Farm to Restaurant Project

Monday, February 8, 2010 - 10:00 a.m - 3:00 p.m.
Santa Fe Farmers Market Pavilion

We enjoyed "curbside consulting" on land-use issues and networking with Santa Fe-area food growers and buyers at the Fresh Connections event. We feel lucky to be part of a community committed to creating a healthy regional food economy!

Farm to Restaurant project logo

A “Hands on the Land” event at the Galisteo Basin Preserve
with Earth Works Institute + Commonweal Conservancy

Friday, October 16, 2009 - 9:30 a.m - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 17, 2009 - 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

We had a great time with Earth Works Institute, the Climate Change Conservation Corps, and volunteers during these two days at the Galisteo Basin Preserve. Together, we planted a lot of plants along a rehabilitated length of the Arroyo de los Angeles, led two interpretive walks covering land restoration and landscape's ecology and history, and had some good conversations about how to build a community of land stewards at the Preserve. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Hands On The Land photo
Santa Fe Conservation Trust Evening Star Train
October 9, 2009 - 6:30 PM to 10:45 PM
Thank you for joining the Santa Fe Conservation Trust and local astronomers for dinner and stargazing on the Galisteo Basin Preserve. Dinner was catered onboard the Santa Fe Southern Railway train, and the chilly night was bright and clear. This event was organized by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust; please click HERE to connect to the Trust's website and get more information about other Evening Star Trains to the Preserve.

Galisteo Basin Preserve night sky

September Star Party at the Galisteo Basin Preserve
Friday, September 25, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Thank you to the Santa Fe Conservation Trust, the Capital City Astronomy Club, and everyone who attended for making this event a success! We enjoyed a great sunset and the music of Cris Phillips and Michael Shepherd with our BYO picnics, and it was fun to connect over hot cider and cookies as the Peter Lipscomb oriented us to the starry night sky above the Galisteo Basin Preserve. The night was crisp and clear, and stargazing with the Capital City Astronomers was wonderful, even with some moonlight thrown in.

astronomer
Santa Fe Conservation Trust Evening Star Train
August 14, 2009 - 6:30 PM to 10:45 PM
Thank you for joining the Santa Fe Conservation Trust and local astronomers for dinner and stargazing on the Galisteo Basin Preserve. Dinner was catered onboard the Santa Fe Southern Railway train, and the stargazing was wonderful. This event was organized by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust; please click HERE to connect to the Trust's website and get more information about other Evening Star Trains to the Preserve.
Galisteo Basin Preserve night sky
Trails + Telescopes at the Galisteo Basin Preserve
July 18, 2009 — 4:30 - 10:00 pm
We had a great time! Thanks to everyone who came out for our first "Trails + Telescopes" event, hosted at the Galisteo Basin Preserve by Commonweal Conservancy and the Santa Fe Conservation Trust. It was fun to share the Preserve's new public trails, the restoration work of Earth Works Institute, a Cowgirl BBQ dinner, Santa Fe Brass quintet music, a glorious sunset complete with distant lightning, and, for the folks who waited it out, some terrific stargazing.
mountain biker
   
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