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Media Release

Published: 02/24/2010
Roxanne Witt Celeskey Public Information Officer 505-841-2826


Cedar Crest, NM–The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center will kick off their first event of the season Saturday, March 6th. The Center’s popular “First Saturday” series offers visitors a chance to explore nature in the beautiful 128-acre piñon-juniper forest that is normally only open to school groups. Visitors will have access to 5 1/2 miles of hiking trails, interactive exhibits, and a wildlife observation deck, as well as the opportunity to take part in a number of activities, including picnicking and geocaching, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

In addition, a special education program is offered each month that provides visitors with knowledge about the outdoors and the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center itself. The March program features guided hikes, led by a trained SMNHC Naturalist. The hikes will take place from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and range from an easy kid-friendly hike to a moderate 2-mile hike. Don’t miss your chance to explore the beautiful mountain range that crowns Albuquerque, and learn about the amazing ecosystems that are a part of it.

2010 Schedule and Featured Education Program:

March 6: Spring Guided Hikes*

April 3: Dendrochronology: The Study of Tree Rings

May 1: Wildlife of the Sandias

June 5: Leave No Trace

July 3: Birding in the Sandias

August 7: Fire Ecology

September 4: Fall Guided Hikes*


*Reservations required. Call 281-5259.

For directions visit:


About the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center


The SMNHC is an award-winning environmental education center located in the Sandia Mountains just east of Albuquerque. This beautiful 128-acre piñon-juniper forest features over five miles of hiking trails, interactive exhibits, and provides exciting experiences with a variety of programs for people of all ages. The Center has been in operation since 1967, and is a partnership between the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and Albuquerque Public Schools. The SMNHC serves nearly 17,000 people a year.


About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is a regional center of excellence in scientific research, exhibits, and science education.

Directions to the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center

From Albuquerque, follow I-40 east through Tijeras Canyon. Take the Cedar Crest Exit (175) and follow State Highway North 14 through Cedar Crest. Watch for the Conoco Station on the right and the coffee shop on your left, approximately 3 miles from I-40. Turn left immediately after the coffee shop onto Columbine Lane (dirt road). Follow Columbine Lane approximately 1 mile to the Center. Columbine Lane ends at the Center.


Sandia Mountain Natural History Center Address:

60 Columbine Lane

Cedar Crest, NM

Center Tel. Number: 281-5259

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