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January 2020


January 2020

2019: The Year in Pictures

Looking back on the last 12 months, the Bucket Brigade is proud of the greater Santa Barbara community for the partnerships that have been created and the hundreds of volunteers who continue to give back. Here are some highlights from the past year.


On the one-year anniversary of the worst natural disaster in Santa Barbara County history, we began 2019 by honoring the victims and survivors of the 1/9 Debris Flow with a candlelight procession that drew more than 2,000 community members.

Raising Our Light 2019 and Raising Our Light 2020

This year’s event was held on Thursday, January 9, 2020, at Westmont College and focused on remembrance, connection, and hope. The program included letters from survivors, songs by Lauren Cantin and a chorus of Montecito schoolchildren, comfort food from Organic Soup Kitchen.

23 candle-bearers, including Bucket Brigade Cofounder Thomas Cole and current board member Ann Burgard, with Westmont President Dr. Gayle Beebe at the Raising Our Light 2020 event, held on Thursday, January 9. Photo: Brooke Holland, Noozhawk.

Bucket Brigade Cofounder Jessica Powell, with Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor Das Williams and Bucket Brigade Captains Carol Bartoli, Denise Walden Cooper, and Stacy McCrory.

Montecito Rising

On January 12, 2019, more than 500 invitees showed up for dinner and dancing at Montecito Rising, an event designed to express a big “Thank You!” to all of our volunteers and supporters.  

Bucket Brigade Neighborhood Action Plan Launched!

Pulling wisdom from the mud — and building on a handbook created by the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management — 2019 marked the launch of our Neighborhood Action Kit, designed to help neighbors and homeowners associations educate and prepare themselves for all phases of the disaster cycle, from planning and prevention to response and recovery. For the PDF, click here.

Bucket Brigade Volunteer Days 2019

Long-term recovery from a major natural disaster doesn’t take weeks or months. It takes years. And it only works when people work together. In 2019, we rallied hundreds of volunteers of all ages to help their community recover.

  • Restoration of the Casa Dorinda and Ennisbrook open spaces
  • State Lands Day
  • National Public Lands Day
  • National Trails Day
  • Montecito Beautification Day

Casa Dorinda Family Workday

Ennisbrook Trailhead Overhaul

National Trails Day

Community Uplift + Safe Routes to School

In the spring of 2019, we teamed up with a dozen community partners on our first Community Uplift + Safe Routes to School project. The North Jameson Walking Trail now connects family neighborhoods to schools, businesses, and beaches.

In the fall, we deployed 230 Westmont College student volunteers to improve pedestrian safety around Cold Spring Elementary School.

Coming up in 2020, we’re partnering on a Safe Routes project along Olive Mill Road. We’re also working to improve five miles of pedestrian paths in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Workforce Development

In a unique partnership with the Workforce Development Board of Santa Barbara County, we trained and deployed about two dozen residents who were out of work after the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow. While learning skills and earning a paycheck, these women and men helped the community recover from the twin disasters by restoring public trails and wildlife habitat.

Memorial Benches

Teaming up with craftsman David Moseley, the Bucket Brigade dedicated six of a planned 23 memorial benches for victims of the 1/9 Debris Flow.

In 2019, we honored Jack Cantin, Dave Cantin, Rebecca Riskin, Sawyer Jane Baker Corey, Morgan Christie Corey, and John McManigal, Sr.

Community Resilience Training

Safety has always been a focus of the Bucket Brigade’s leadership team. In that respect, we ramped up our training schedule in 2019, with classes in Stop The Bleed, Wilderness First Aid, CPR/AED, and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).

We also learned a lot at the full-scale disaster drills held by CERT, Great California ShakeOut, and Santa Barbara Airport disaster drills.

En Español

Check out our website in Spanish! Plus, in 2020, we plan to bring aboard a bilingual community education coordinator as we reach out to neighborhoods countywide.

Bucket Brigade Volunteer Captain Ana Fagan channels Clark Kent at the Raising Our Light event.

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