Galisteo Basin Preserve

The Galisteo Basin Preserve is a 13,200-acre conservation-based community development project located 15 miles southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the central Galisteo Basin. An area of exceptionally fragile and ecologically significant land and water resources, the Galisteo Basin is internationally celebrated for its spectacular scenic, cultural, and wildlife habitat values.

In collaboration with representatives of Santa Fe County, conservationists, archaeologists, professional planners, and neighborhood groups, Commonweal Conservancy is working to purchase the Galisteo Basin Preserve, previously known as the Thornton Ranch. The approximately 21-square-mile property is considered a "high risk development area"—one whose subdivision into widely dispersed "ranchettes" would threaten the scenic, wildlife habitat, water, public service (e.g., schools, fire fighting and police), historic, cultural, and traditional economic resources of the central Galisteo Basin.

To protect the property's most significant environmental and cultural resources, Commonweal negotiated an agreement to purchase the Preserve in five phases. Rather than allowing the property to be subdivided into 12.5-acre and 40-acre home sites, a carefully sited, environmentally sensitive Village development, known as "Trenza", will accommodate a rich variety of mixed-income residential and community-serving land uses within a compact "development envelope" of approximately 300 acres. As envisioned in its master plan, Trenza will include 965 homes situated among the ridgelines, hills and knolls of the surrounding landscape. The pedestrian quality of the community will be enhanced by courtyards, paseos and parks that will allow residents to travel easily and safely between neighborhoods and the village center. Trenza's planning, design, and construction standards exemplify the values and principles of low-impact, resource efficient, sustainable development.

The vast majority of the Preserve—approximately 12,000 acres—will be permanently protected and restored. More than 50 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails are planned to wind throughout the Preserve and connect to trail networks linking to the City of Santa Fe.

To support the acquisition of the Preserve lands and help underwrite Trenza's development process and a portion of the project's conservation planning work, Commonweal has marketed home sites in five conservation developments within the Preserve—Southern Crescent, West Basin, New Moon Overlook, East Preserve and the Conservation Ranches.

To learn more about the Galisteo Basin Preserve, Trenza, and available home sites, please visit its website at