The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center (SMNHC) is an environmental education center that serves all Albuquerque Public School 5graders and others from the Albuquerque area and throughout New Mexico. The educators, trained in ecology based degrees, teach the students about the ecosystem by leading hikes and developing hands-on nature programs.
The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is jointly run by the Albuquerque Public Schools and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. The facility serves approximately 17,000 people per year and offers a variety of programs for school groups and the general public. The beautiful 128-acre forest land owned by APS is located just off Highway 14 in Cedar Crest, NM.
The site covers 3 of the 4 Sandia Mountain Life Zones. The life zones being Upper Sonoran, Transition, and Canadian. The SMNHC Botany and Mud Springs Trails connect the SMNHC to the Cibola National Forest which connects the site to the 4th,Hudsonian, Life Zone. The existing facility offers 7 miles of hiking/ teaching trails, picnic areas, 2 bird blinds, a geocaching course, indoor and outdoor classrooms and a museum. All dedicated to teaching.