Getting Dirty in the Name of Nature

PNM volunteer work day at Santa Fe Canyon Preserve

Santa Fe, NM

Guided nature hike.
Santa Fe Canyon Preserve Visitors learn about the history of the preserve. © Robert Findling/TNC

It’s about to get dirty! The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico is hosting a volunteer work day for employees of long-time and valued partner the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) on May 16, from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Some of the PNM volunteers will trade their computers and phones for landscape equipment and gloves for intense work outdoors. Others will take a break from their bucket trucks to provide support.

Volunteers will transport and place more than six tons of rock around an overlook bench and along trails in the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve’s Two-Mile Pond. The rocks will better define trails to limit off trail use and will slow water when it rains to help reduce erosion. PNM employees will also replace damaged post and rail wood fencing in the preserve.

The preserve’s history began in 2000 when PNM donated 190 acres of open space to establish the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve. Years of restoration and conservation work has turned what was once the center of Santa Fe’s hydroelectric industry into an oasis with wildflowers, willows, deer, bear and beaver. The now 525-acre preserve is located only a few miles from Santa Fe’s historic downtown plaza. Over 30,000 visitors hike the preserve annually.

“This preserve has become a popular place for locals and tourists to exercise or simply enjoy the outdoors and view wildlife,” says Bob Findling, TNC’s director of land protection and stewardship, who is responsible for managing the preserve. “We’re grateful for PNM’s long-term commitment to the preserve, which provides an important linkage between the City’s open space trails.”

PNM also values the partnership with TNC. “We support the Conservancy through volunteer days as well as grants because we believe in what they do throughout the state,” said Laurie Roach, manager, PNM Outreach and Engagement. “Their science-based conservation work provides innovative solutions that protect important lands and waterways we all depend on. We’re proud to be part of the efforts to keep the Land of Enchantment beautiful and healthy for generations to come.”

Volunteer work days on the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve help maintain the area for people and nature. Organizations and individuals interested in participating in future events or learning more about TNC are encouraged to visit  The preserve turns 20 in 2020!

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.