In January 2018 after fire and flood, five community members launched the biggest volunteer disaster-relief effort in Santa Barbara County history. With a team of two dozen Bucket Brigade captains, we safely deployed 3,000 volunteers in a powerful and effective demonstration of community compassion and resilience. The recovery work continues today. But there’s more.
With grassroots community wisdom and 25 years of volunteer organizing experience, we have created a resilience toolkit that neighborhoods can use to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
In California and across the nation, natural disasters are hitting harder and more often. We believe every community needs its own Bucket Brigade. Our mission is to help make that happen.
We’re all in this together!
Events for December 9, 2019
Casa Dorinda Family Workday
As we approach the two-year anniversary, our community is still filled with daily reminders of the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow — from empty lots and homes under construction to damaged roads and public open spaces. The Bucket Brigade is dedicated to a sustained response for long-term community recovery.
Long after most people have forgotten about the disaster, neighborhoods continue to struggle. There are still many people that need support and many opportunities for their community to help address those needs.
One recent project drew 50 volunteers to the Casa Dorinda open space to plant, mulch, and water more than 150 native flowers, shrubs, and trees.
The crew ranged from original Bucket Brigade core leaders to families and students just wanting to get outside on a warm November weekend. Some planted their first trees. Others made new friends. All of them came together to help restore a 22-acre public open space that had been severely damaged on 1/9/18. (And a special shout-out to Lexi Hunter for purchasing and donating all the new plantlife!)
This area has special significance because so many of the victims of the debris flow were found in this area. By helping to restore this public space and installing memorial benches for those we have lost, the Bucket Brigade is joining in solidarity with all of the survivors as we all heal together from the terrible wounds of 2018.
Thanks to everyone who has helped support this work. We couldn’t do it without you!!
Compare before and after!
Ennisbrook Trailhead Overhaul
Partnering with the Montecito Trails Foundation and the Ennisbrook Owners Association, the Bucket Brigade spearheaded an overhaul of a dirt parking lot that serves the debris flow-damaged public open space and hiking trail bordering San Ysidro Creek. During the rainy season, this parking lot has had a long history of turning into a muddy mess. After 1/9, the rearranged landscape has provided inroads for people to drive vehicles into the trail system to dump trash.
With a few pieces of heavy machinery and some heavy lifting by a handful of volunteers, we improved drainage at the trailhead, laid down a compacted layer of recycled road base, and repositioned a bunch of big boulders to block people from driving into the protected area.