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60 Columbine Lane, Cedar Crest, NM 87008
Grant Received County Amount
Outdoor Equity Fund 2021 Bernalillo County $20,000
Outdoor Equity Fund 2023 Valencia County $40,000
Trails+ 2022 Bernalillo County $40,000
Total Grants Awarded $100,000

The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center (SMNHC) is located in the east mountains outside of Albuquerque in Cedar Crest, New Mexico. It is owned by Albuquerque Public Schools and jointly operated by Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS). Environmental educators have been providing programming for the children of New Mexico here since 1967. The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center was honored as an Outstanding Environmental Education Organization by Environmental Education of New Mexico in 2019. The SMNHC’s primary program is an Ecology Field Program for 5th grade classes throughout the area to travel to the mountains to experience the ecosystem first-hand through hiking, doing hands-on and science-based activities aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, learning from their instructor and nature itself, understanding ecosystem connections, and sharing their observations and questions throughout. All APS 5th graders attend this program, as well as many from Rio Rancho Public Schools and other area schools and districts. Sandia Mountain Natural History Center educators also lead Traveling Ecology Field Programs for 5th graders all over New Mexico, designed a new program for and teach all APS 3rd graders at Los Padillas Elementary School in the South Valley, teach special programs for other grade levels on a variety of subjects, and conduct teacher workshops. Additionally, instructors create curriculum, lessons, videos, and other resources for outdoor, classroom, and home usage; host and take part in public events, conduct scientific research and monitoring, reach out to the public through social media, and collaborate with other area and statewide organizations. Staff are always searching out new ways to innovate and be more involved with outdoor educational opportunities statewide.