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Working Soledad Street’s Bio-Swale

Youth CineMedia’s Latest Work Involves Improving Sycamore Creek


As I look back at the work that I did with the City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division, I never thought that I would be writing about my experience. My name is Darren Carre±o, I’m 16 years old, and I documented the work me and my peers did last summer, at the end of Soledad Street on Santa Barbara’s Eastside.

At Sycamore Creek, we created a bio-swale. Basically it’s designed to naturally filter water runoff after big storms. While working at the jobsite, I was introduced to the Youth CineMedia Program, and it seemed really interesting. I joined the program and we started trying to come up with a way to educate people about the creeks and water quality.

The video I created was for the Creeks Division to use to educate other people. It is titled: “Soledad Bio-Swell.” You can see the video here as part of Youth CineMedia’s weekly contribution to Independent.com, called Street Focus. It shows how a couple of youth spent their summer and the purpose of the bio-swale.

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The video starts with an interview of me and other “youth apprentices” working with the Creeks Division. Eventually I went back to the bio-swale on Soledad seven months later, where I ran across some kids hanging out in the creek. We filmed the bio-swale and let the kids know what we were doing. I then went to Hendry’s beach and talked to a Santa Barbara lady and asked what she thought about the quality of our creeks and beaches.

After I got all my material together it was time to get to work! I used programs like Final Cut Pro, LiveType, and Photoshop. I had to build the video from scratch, capturing the footage myself but also cutting it up in time for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The process was long and included some “all-nighters.” But in the end, it was totally worth it.

Eventually, I also presented my video to the Creeks Council and spoke with them about my experience and even landed a job working in video production with the city. I look forward to working on more projects that will educate the community and make everyone aware of environmental issues. On behalf of Youth CineMedia, this is Darren Carre±o, and I hope you enjoy my video.

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