A message from the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade co-founders:
The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade was originally formed to dig mud and debris out of our neighbors’ homes after the tragic debris flow on January 9, 2018. Over 2,700 volunteers showed up in force for three months – and together, we were able to dig out nearly 80 homes, La Casa De Maria, the Ennisbrook open space, Hammond’s beach and countless trees. But our work is not done.
As we move forward in the recovery process, the needs of the community are changing. The Bucket Brigade is evolving to respond to these changes. As such, we have launched a new program called “Bucket Brigade Phase 2” through which the Bucket Brigade will concentrate its efforts on several projects that we believe to be of particular benefit to our community at this stage of the recovery process.
At this time, one of the most urgent issues needing to be addressed is the removal of huge piles of debris and dirt all around the community. Our goal is to focus this effort in the Hot Spring/Olive Mill Road access corridor. We’re actively assessing, mapping, digging and trucking away debris, which continues to be an enormous challenge for many of our neighbors, especially those who are under-insured, or have no insurance at all. We also continue to be engaged in the Ennisbrook open space, working to restore the riparian habitat and community trail network. For each of these projects we will be contracting for heavy equipment operation, at heavily discounted rates, and building teams of volunteers.
Additionally, we are spearheading the creation of a pedestrian walking trail along North Jameson Road that will connect the existing San Ysidro walking path to Coast Village Road.
Finally, we are developing a January 9th memorial project with local sculptor, Anders Johnson, who will use stones we have collected from the debris flow to create a beautiful and lasting monument to honor and remember the lives lost in this disaster.
While the trauma of what happened will never be forgotten, we are actively working to heal the visual scars our town still bears. These projects are immense undertakings – and we need your help now, more than ever, to make them happen. Please support the Bucket Brigade in any way you can. Your donation will go directly to aiding our efforts right here at home in Montecito. Be it large, be it small, it all makes a difference. We also need volunteers to sign up through our website (santabarbarabucketbrigade.org) to help with Phase 2. Together we are sending the message that people care about each other in this community. Let’s keep up this amazing work and take our community recovery to the next level.