About‎ > ‎

About the SMNHC

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 primarily pinon-juniper forest is owned by Albuquerque Public Schools and is jointly operated by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science through the State of New Mexico. Since 1967, the center has been teaching the students of New Mexico about the ecosystem and how to better understand and study it.  The SMNHC has been declared an Environmental Education Landmark by the National Park Service and was awarded the Environmental Excellence Award by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The SMNHC consists of:
-7 miles of trails
-Cibola National Forest access (for classes)
-8 outdoor classrooms
-5 picnic areas
-5 indoor classrooms (2 of which convert to a multi-purpose room)
-a lab
-2 sets of restrooms
-a museum
-2 bird blinds
-office space

The SMNHC serves about 17,000 people a year in a variety of different programs for school groups, as well as the general public.

In the esteemed "Ecology Field Program", 5th grade classes come to the center for an educational science experience in which they get a vital immersive experience in their local mountain ecosystem. Our educators take them for a 2-3 hour hike and lead the students in hands-on activities focusing on the biotic species and abiotic elements of the environment, and their importance to one another and the health of the ecosystem.

While our Center is not open to the public on most days, we do host several public events each year to let people visit this unique New Mexican treasure. From nature walks to bird watching, the SMNHC has something for all nature lovers.

During the school year, the SMNHC staff provides an outreach program, traveling around the state teaching the "Traveling Ecology Field Program". This program features hiking at a park or wild area near the student's schools with all the same themese and lessons as the regular Ecology Field Program. This provides New Mexico students a better understanding of the unique ecosystems near their own schools.

Subpages (1): SMNHC Overview