Sandia Mountain Natural History Center
The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is an environmental
education center located in the Sandia Mountains just east of
Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our beautiful 128-acre piece of pinon-juniper
forest is owned by the Albuquerque Public School System, and is run by
the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Since 1967 the
center has been teaching the students of New Mexico about the
environment and how to preserve it. The primary mission of the center
and its staff is to educate the citizens of New Mexico about ecology,
ecosystems, the environment and conservation. The Center was declared an
Environmental Education Landmark by the National Park Service and was
awarded the Environmental Excellence Award by the Environmental
The Center consists of:
• Over 6 miles of trails
• 8 outdoor classrooms
• 5 indoor classrooms
• Access to the Cibola National Forest
• 5 picnic areas
• Geocache and orienteering course
• Office space
The center serves more than 17,000 people a year in a variety of
different programs for school groups, as well as the general public. Our
school programs are an exciting part of the SMNHC experience. In the
"Ecology Field Program" students visit the center for a 4-hour program.
During that time they go for a 2-hour hike and participate in hands-on
activities focusing on ecosystems.
While our Center is not open to the public during school hours, we do
host several public events throughout the year to let people see this
unique New Mexican treasure. From nature walks to bird watching and the
SMNHC has something for all nature lovers.
Throughout the year the SMNHC hosts a number of teacher workshops. The
topics for these workshops typically reflect some aspect of ecology and
give teachers the knowledge and confidence to teach their students
about nature, both inside and outside of the classroom.
During the school year the SMNHC staff provides an outreach program,
traveling the state teaching the "Traveling Ecology Field Program". This
program features nature hikes at a park or wild area near the student's
schools. This gives students a better understanding of the unique
ecosystems near their schools.