Nine Fountains. One Mission. Bacara Resort & Spa converts its water fountains into an educational community art exhibition

Nine Fountains. One Mission.
Bacara Resort & Spa converts its water fountains into an educational community art exhibition” alt=”“>

Santa Barbara – In the midst of a stage three drought, Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara is turning its water conservation efforts into a gorgeous and educational art exhibition. The resort has partnered with seven local designers to transform all nine of its water fountains into water-wise art displays.

“We are facing the driest consecutive four years on record,” said Kathleen Cochran, general manager of Bacara Resort & Spa. “Beyond reducing water consumption, we’re hoping our fountains will set an example of how landscaping in ways that reduce the need for excess water can still be beautiful.”

To bring this vision to life, Bacara commissioned Santa Barbara County’s top botanists, landscape designers, farmers and artists. Each took ownership of one or two fountains at the property, and was given free rein to bring their talents to life through artistic displays of drought-tolerant plants, succulents, edibles and even hand-blown glass.

“Over 20 years ago, Lotusland chose to adopt sustainable horticulture practices in the gardens, not only as a policy decision but as a way of life,” said Bob Craig, director of marketing and communications of

Ganna Walska Lotusland (one of Bacara’s featured partners). “Many of these sustainable techniques not only eliminated the use of all chemical pesticides and fertilizers in the gardens, but helped reduce the demand for water. We are happy for this opportunity to share practical gardening techniques and our knowledge of water conservation.”

Bacara’s Community Art Exhibition Project proudly features:

· Purple Rosette by Ganna Walska Lotusland

Designed by Paul Mills, Lotusland’s Assistant Curator, this stunning fountain features three concentric circles consisting of three different plants with different heights and tones of purple and pink: Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop,’ Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives’ and Graptopetalum paraguayense.

· Fontana dell’Amore by Saul Alcaraz Santa Barbara Glassblowing Studio

Each piece of this stunning glass display was blown, shaped or cutout by hand and assembled into a form that ensures no two finished objects are the same. Saul feels he has captured the power of the sun in this translucent form of perfection.

· A Cascade of Color by Santa Barbara Succulent Art

Featuring bright and contrasting colors and textures, this stunning fountain includes succulents “spilling” over the edge to simulate water in a fountain.

· Water Food, Not Your Lawn by Something Good Organics

Designed by farmers Mathew and Carolyn Givens and Erik Powell to inspire water conservation, this fountain features heirloom eggplant, yellow bell pepper chives, basil, romaine lettuce and more.

· African Aquatic by Ganna Walska Lotusland

Designed by Paul Mills, Lotusland’s Assistant Curator, this beautiful fountain features two different African plants – Aloe wickensii and Chondropetalum tectorum – to inspire an underwater theme.

· FountaSea by Terra Sol Garden Center

Margaret Peavey, co-owner of Terra Sol, utilized drought resistant succulents and bromeliads to create a beautiful undersea scene that reflects the oceanfront location of Bacara.

· Silver Falls by ValleyCrest

Dichondra, a trailing plant, gives the illusion of falling water, while bright bromeliads add color.

· Pure Life by Dalla Vita

With a refined tropical oasis vibe, this fountain pulls inspiration from the surrounding plant life to create a peaceful, yet tropical retreat. Influenced by Costa Rica’s “Pura Vida” way of life, the designer hopes this fountain will remind resort guests to relax, enjoy life and the simple things that bring joy.

· Rio by ValleyCrest

With the goal of complementing the resort’s existing courtyard landscaping, this beautiful fountain evokes a tropical look with Anthirium, begonias and sweet flag.

Both hotel guests and the general public are invited to enjoy a self-guided tour of the Fountains at any time. For more information on the project, please click here.

Bacara’s Community Art Exhibition Project is just one of several conservation efforts underway at the resort. Bacara has instituted a “Sustainability Committee” comprised of employees who are passionate about protecting the environment (several committee members are students receiving their bachelor of science degree in environmental studies from UC Santa Barbara). Other initiatives underway include energy management, beach clean ups, waste reduction and recycling. To learn more about Bacara Resort & Spa, please call (855) 817-9782 or visit“>


Anne Elcon | Director of Marketing & Communications
Bacara Resort & Spa
8301 Hollister Avenue | Santa Barbara, CA 93117
805.571.3186 | Cell 805.403.6032 |
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