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June 2019


June 2019

True Resilience:

The Case for Community Self-Rescue

After the 1/9 Debris Flow,the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade recruited, trained, and deployed more than 3,000 volunteers to help Montecito recover from the worst natural disaster in Santa Barbara County history. In the process, the Bucket Brigade developed a solution to the rapidly growing problem of natural disaster recovery. We call this model Community Self-Rescue. CSR uses the people and resources within a community to respond directly to a crisis. Instead of waiting for outside agencies to supply assistance, CSR empowers the community to take responsibility for its own recovery, working as a team to help survivors get their lives back on track.

CSR relies on volunteer recruitment, coordination, and a deployment system modeled on the Incident Command System used by first responders. CSR leverages local wisdom applied by trusted residents to deliver needed relief supplies and services quickly and effectively.  Using CSR, organized local agencies align with businesses and philanthropic groups for equipment, volunteer meals, funding, and networking.

Our primary focus for the coming year is the expansion of our field-tested method for Community Self-Rescue. Our aim is to build a countywide network of prepared neighborhoods ready to assist each other in a time of need.

New Faces:

Welcome aboard!

In 2019, we have added new members to our Board of Directors: Patty Swenson arrives with a background in financial services and served as board president of Santa Barbara Middle School from 2014-16; Geoff Green has an extensive background in Santa Barbara nonprofit work and is currently the CEO of the Santa Barbara City College Foundation; general contractor Ann Burgard joined the Bucket Brigade as a volunteer early on and also serves on the Habitat for Humanity board of directors; and Craig Granet is an attorney specializing in property, business, and commercial litigation.


Memorial Bench Project

In February, the Bucket Brigade dedicated the first of 23 memorial benches honoring the victims of the 1/9 Debris Flow. Kim Cantin hosted the ceremony for dozens of friends and family outside the Scout House at Manning Park, where David Cantin served as scoutmaster and their son Jack was an Eagle Scout. The benches for Dave and Jack face each other just outside the Scout House entryway.

Financed by the Bucket Brigade, the redwood benches were built and installed by David Mosely, a craftsman born and raised in Romero Canyon. Mosely has since installed three more benches: Rebecca Riskin’s bench (pictured), made of bunya pine, is located along the main trail through the Ennisbrook open space; and Morgan and Sawyer Corey’s matching redwood benches are under an oak in the Casa Dorinda open space. Mosely is currently building a bench honoring John McManigal Sr., to be dedicated this summer. All benches are built from previously removed or fallen local trees and milled by Mosely at his Montecito shop.

Community Long-Term Recovery Project:

North Jameson Walking Trail

Last year while digging out a home in the Montecito Oaks neighborhood, Bucket Brigade cofounder Josiah Hamilton had an idea: Wouldn’t it be cool if a crew of people who lost their jobs because of the disaster could get paid to clean up the public right of way and build a real public trail? Everybody laughed, “Yeah, right!”

Turns out, Hamilton was onto something.

Among its widespread destruction, the 1/9 Debris Flow wiped out numerous public trails, bridges, and safe walking routes to Montecito schools, beaches, and businesses. To address this problem along the Montecito Creek corridor, the Bucket Brigade launched a collaborative project to clean up and restore the popular but rudimentary walking path along North Jameson Lane. The project has employed upward of 20 men and women organized through the Workforce Development Board of Santa Barbara County and paid by federal disaster-relief funding.

In May, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new walking trail drew nearly three dozen community members to North Jameson. When complete, the trail will provide safe and convenient pedestrian access between the existing San Ysidro Road footpath and the Coast Village Road business corridor.

This neighborhood trail restoration project is a true collaboration between community groups, local government, businesses, and foundations. We’d like to thank our partners: Montecito Trails Foundation, Montecito Community Foundation, Montecito Association, Santa Barbara County Public Works Department, Steve Hanson Landscaping, All Around Irrigation, Hayward Lumber, Mac Brown Excavating, Steve Nuttal Trucking, and Giffin Rental.

We have seen the future — and it involves shovels, smiles, and a safe route to school.

Volunteer Day

Procore Technologies

Earlier this spring, Bucket Brigade captains and Steve Gowler with Cold Spring Landscaping led 30 employees of Procore Technologies — a construction-management software company based in Carpinteria — in a habitat restoration project in the debris damaged area. Volunteers planted hummingbird sage, lemonade berry, figwort, and other native species at the Casa Dorinda public open space. The 22-acre nature preserve was severely damaged by the 1/9 Debris Flow but its trails and oak woodlands are bouncing back, thanks to community efforts. In three hours on a Saturday morning, the hardworking Procore crew put more than 400 new plants in the ground and mulched the planting area with wood chips provided by the Montecito Fire Protection District’s neighborhood chipping project.

Would your workplace, neighborhood association, or community group like to volunteer on a Bucket Brigade project?Shoot us an email:

To Date, The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade Has:

Cleared mud and debris from more than 100 homes.
Cleared mud and debris from La Casa de Maria, including its main chapel.
Cleared 44 acres of mud from the Ennisbrook public open space and restored its trails.
Cleared 22 acres of debris from the Casa Dorinda public open space and restored the Peter Bakewell Trail and adjacent oak woodland nature preserve.
Removed detrimental mud from around the trunks of hundreds of native oak trees.
Partnered with community nonprofits to restore damaged sections of Cold Spring, Hot Springs, San Ysidro, McMenemy, Buena Vista, and Romero trails.
Partnered with community groups and nonprofits to create and fund Raising Our Light 1/9/18 anniversary memorial event.
Conducted yearlong search for two children taken by the debris flow — ongoing.
Spearheaded and installed memorial benches for disaster victims — ongoing.
Organized and supervised family friendly tree-planting and beach cleanups — ongoing.
Deployed and supervised a paid Santa Barbara County Workforce Development crew of men and women to restore public open spaces and pedestrian easements — ongoing.
Launched Community Self-Rescue (CSR) to build a countywide network of neighborhoods trained in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery — ongoing.

at 6pm

Alameda Park

Fitness + Fundraiser

Please help us spread the word about a cool fundraising event hosted by Jason Baker and Fitness805. Starting at 6 p.m. every Tuesday night in Alameda Park, near the corner of Garden and Sola streets, Baker and crew lead a fun one-hour workout for all levels. Families welcome! The guided workout is donation-based, with all funds going to the Bucket Brigade.

Thank you, Fitness805!

The Bucket Brigade is asking for donations toward the purchase of a used 16-foot box truck for our tools and equipment.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation,
click here.

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