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October 2019


October 2019

Westmont Bucket Brigade!

Westmont College Athletes Trailblaze Safe Routes to School

On Sunday, September 22, a crew of 230 athlete Westmont Warriors teamed up with the Bucket Brigade and community partners to improve neighborhood walking trails surrounding Cold Spring Elementary School.

Westmont athletes work on the trail in front of Cold Spring Elementary School  

To restore damaged trails and increase overall pedestrian safety along busy sections of Sycamore Canyon and Cold Spring roads, volunteers wielded wheelbarrows, shovels, and rakes to move more than 50 tons of gravel (provided by Lash Construction and Santa Barbara County Public Works), 45 tons of decomposed granite (donated by Santa Barbara Stone), and multiple dump-truck loads of wood chips. They also trimmed overgrown vegetation and planted and mulched agave cuttings along the school front.

Workday volunteers spread recycled road base ahead of decomposed granite

Led by the Bucket Brigade, the volunteer workday emerged from a traffic-safety assessment orchestrated by the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) in longtime coordination with Cold Spring School parents and the national Safe Routes to School program.

"The main thing the Bucket Brigade wanted us to focus on was safety," said sophomore women's basketball forward Sydney Brown, who served as her team's project captain during the workday. "They asked us to be aware of the cars on the road so that we could serve in a safe environment. We were supposed to have our teammates' backs, which is a term all athletes know and practice every day."

This safety and uplift project also helps strengthen community resilience. As diverse stakeholders worked together to solve a common problem, they built a foundation of mutual trust, collaboration, and coordination — critical components for any neighborhood that wants to respond successfully to natural disasters and other community crises.

Cold Spring kids on their new safe route to school

Big buckets of thanks to our community partners on this project: Cold Spring Elementary School, Westmont College, COAST, Cold Springs Landscapes, Santa Barbara Stone, Santa Barbara County Public Works, and Montecito Trails Foundation!

Community Self-Rescue

This fall the Bucket Brigade is dedicated to working with communities countywide to help build grassroots resilience. We can then weave this network of resilient neighborhoods into a genuine community safety net we call Neighborhood Mutual Aid.

Would your homeowners association or neighborhood group like to meet with Bucket Brigade leadership for a free presentation on emergency planning and training projects? If so, please shoot us an email:

Training Update!

A recent Wilderness First Aid class by 4Points Expeditions, hosted by Santa Barbara Middle School, included Bucket Brigade captains (pictured, from left) John Trimble, Alexandra Williams, and Carol Bartolli, plus intern James Kendrick and Bucket Brigade leadership Keith Hamm and Ann Burgard. That’s 4Points instructor Matt May, front row right. Williams and Hamm also recently completed a course in psychological first aid, taught by the Santa Barbara Response Network.

As part of our safety program, Bucket Brigade captains and volunteers are developing their lifesaving skills. Our goal is to create a distributed network of trained volunteers to increase safety and resilience throughout Santa Barbara County.


SBBB Calendar

For a master calendar of training opportunities, click here. We update the calendar as new classes are offered. 


A recent two-hour cleanup along Montecito Creek near the Oaks neighborhood produced a few hundred pounds of trash, much of which had been deposited during the 1/9 Debris Flow. Big thanks to our powerful volunteers (from left) Leslie and Ana Fagan, Carol Bartolli, Denise Walden Cooper, James Kendrick, and Alexandra Williams!

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