Skip to content
PO Box 457, Silver City, NM 88062
Grant Received County Amount
Trails+ 2023 Grant County $49,865
Total Grants Awarded $49,865

The Gila Native Plant Society (GNPS) promotes the education, research, and appreciation of the native flora of the southwest; encourages the preservation of rare and endangered plant species and the communities in which these species occur; and supports the use of suitable native plants in landscaping to create habitat and conserve water while at the same time preserving New Mexico’s unique character. Most GNPS programs are free and open to the public. The Gila Native Plant Society started in 1988 and established an endowment fund in 1995. In 1999, it became a chapter of the New Mexico Native Plant Society, formed in 1976 to promote native plants throughout the state. Education is a large part of the work done by the GNPS. Monthly programs provided from fall through spring are live and via Zoom and are recorded for later viewing. Typical programs include presentations about pollinators, wildflower blooms in the Silver City area, threatened and endangered species of our region, or gardening with native plants. GNPS also supports scientific work at Western New Mexico University, such as the herbarium and the Natural History of the Gila Symposium. Educational activities for children include interactive games at community events like the Mimbres Hummingbird Festival. At the same time, the Silva Creek Botanical Garden provides the ideal outdoor classroom for local teachers to bring children for outdoor education classes. An annual native plant sale features a variety of native plants for homeowners and businesses to purchase and install. The sale supports local businesses selling plants that can increase environmental resilience to climate fluctuations, attract wildlife, and provide beauty. The crown jewel of the GNPS and the focus of this funding request is the Silva Creek Botanical Garden, located in a residential neighborhood. It is on property owned by the Town of Silver City and is across the street from another town park. A bridge and the Silva Creek Nature Trail system connect the garden to the Waterworks Hub, a waystation for Continental Divide Trail hikers, and an event and camping site for residents and visitors. The bridge also connects the garden to a local elementary school, and the trail leads to central Silver City. Past garden projects include the construction of an amphitheater/outdoor classroom, a kiosk, and a pad for outdoor sculptures and metal artwork. There are paths connecting over 100 species of native plants grouped in categories such as a medicinal garden and a cactus garden. A master planning process for the garden initiated in 2022 has yielded a plan to make the garden an even greater community asset. Visitor surveys showed the desire for more places for quiet enjoyment, more interpretation of the garden, and more shade. The Master Plan addresses these needs through themed gardens. Some expand on the garden’s current plantings, and others are new. Garden pathways and educational signage will connect these areas.