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Poetry Pollinators by the Santa Fe River Camino Escondido Bee Hotel

Poetry Pollinators on the Santa Fe River

Native solitary bees are beneficial creatures with no hive, no honey, and no queen, which has prompted communities nationwide to help save the bees through the placement of nesting boxes that have come to be known as "bee hotels."

Poetry Pollinators on the Santa Fe River is our first project, with hopes to donate up to four artist-made bee hotels along the Santa Fe River park pathway as open space gathering spots for personal contemplation, poetry readings, educational workshops, and public events & celebrations. Each bee house will integrate an educational panel and present one poem that will be curated seasonally, at the solstices & equinoxes.

Led by poet-organizer Julie Chase-Daniel and Elizabeth Jacobson, former Santa Fe Poet Laureate, this project has the enthusiastic support of the Santa Fe Watershed Association (SFWA), the City of Santa Fe River Commission and Parks and Recreation Department, and representatives from the Santa Fe County Commission and the Santa Fe Arts Commission.

We will be working with the SFWA and the city to take all steps necessary for bee hotel installations in such locations as near Camino Escondido and East Alameda, or in the Rain Garden on West Alameda, along the river path by the Bicentennial Alto Park, among other possibilities.


Each installation is funded and created one at a time, with funds now in place for the first bee hotel and related programming. Each bee house structure will be donated to the city upon completion. The project will continue to grow based upon the support it receives. Donations to our fiscal sponsor for the benefit of our program can be made here.

Watch our short video:

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West Alameda Rain Garden in Santa Fe by the Santa Fe Watershed Association

Poetry as Public Art

At no other time has it been more important to consider how we occupy and participate in our outdoor public spaces. Poetry in public space brightens spirits, amplifies a sense of shared community, and draws the attention and delight of guests from near and far.  Across the country, throughout the world, and for centuries, poets and artists have engaged public space as a foil and field for poetic epiphanies and ruminations. Poetry Pollinators on the Santa Fe River will offer an enduring vehicle to showcase the work of New Mexico youth and adult poets, facilitate outdoor poetry events, and engage the vital work of our local artists & poets to celebrate and support the river as a diverse eco-system that connects us as one community, sustainable across all differences and divides.


Bee hotel sculptures from around the world

El Parque del Rio and the Santa River Greenway

As a permanent public art installation, Poetry Pollinators serves as a contribution to combating climate change, helping mend a variety of ecosystems both practically and poetically. One immediate benefit will be increasing awareness of the Santa Fe River Watershed and cultivating enjoyment of El Parque del Rio and the Santa Fe River Greenway, an ambitious City-County initiative which aims to tie together a linear park and multi-use trail system that will run along the river for fifteen miles when complete, from Patrick Smith Park to the waste water management facility.


We envision multiple locations that draw people into a dynamic interaction with the river and watershed, inviting viewers to walk or ride bikes to encounter each unique installation commissioned from participating artists.


Since being named “Most Endangered River in America” in 2007, efforts to regenerate the flow and ecosystem of the Santa Fe River were undertaken with great success and remain ongoing through the tireless work of organizations such as the Santa Fe Watershed Association and The City of Santa Fe River Commission.


There is a critical need in Santa Fe and beyond to cultivate a sense of cultural vibrancy that is tied to ecological flourishing. Poetry Pollinators responds by cultivating an ecopoetics of public space that integrates the animate life of the river corridor to awaken human awareness and inspire an ethic of care for the mutual wellbeing of all creatures.

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Santa Fe River Trail Map

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Santa Fe Watershed Association Map of Rain Gardens

Words of Support

Melissa McDonald
River and Watershed Manager
City of Santa Fe

We are excited about the potential of this project that combines environmental education and visual, functional art with the wonderful world of poetry.

Andy Otto
Executive Director (former)
Santa Fe Watershed Association

We are excited to be even marginally involved with this project and cannot endorse it enough. The Santa Fe Watershed Association pledges support and collaboration...

Adelma Aurora Hnasko
Arts Commissioner (former), Santa Fe Arts and Culture Department

I give my highest recommendations for the Poetry Pollinators on the Santa Fe River project... I look forward to witnessing this eco-poetry public art project launch,
seasonally change, and grow over time.

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