Successful kickoff to our 2012 Backyard Collective season in Santa Barbara!

With perfect working temperatures and storm clouds hovering, over 150 volunteers from Patagonia, Horny Toad, Deckers, Vapur, REI and Channel Islands Outfitters removed invasive species replacing them with 600 native plants between two sites along the Atascadero and Cieneguitas creeks in the San Marcos Foothills Preserve


There were cultivators, hoes and gloved hands working side by side as volunteers took turns pulling invasives and replacing them with fuschia-flowered gooseberry, coastal sage-brush and many other native plant species color coded with a flag system. 


A volunteer crew arrived early to set up the stage (thanks Deckers!), bring coffee (yeah Horny Toad), assist with registration (Go REI!), and general duties (High Five Patagonia).

A bus filled with Patagonia employees making the forty minute trek arrived and Deanna Lloyd, Conservation Alliance Outreach Committee Member, took to the stage for a morning welcome and brief program that included remarks from participating member business leaders Gordon Seabury, CEO of Horny Toad, Casey Sheahan, CEO of Patagonia, Zohar Ziv, COO of Deckers, Dave Troutner, General Mager of REI Santa Barbara and guest Garret Kababik, co-owner of Channel Islands Outfitters.

Local television station KEYT came out filing this video report for their "What's Right" news segment. 

Our Volunteer Fair brought representatives from Environmental Defense Fund, Santa Barbara ChannelKeeper, Los Padres Forest Watch, California Wilderness Coalition, Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers and our Backyard Collective partner Channel Islands Restoration to share updates and engage volunteers in taking additional action.

The Santa Barbara Backyard Collective was weeks in the making with a cross-organizational team of Conservation Alliance member planners. Thanks again to our planning group: Adam Druckman, Ariana Arcenas-Utley, Hans Cole, Kate Larramendy and Piper Presley. 

Special thanks to Julie Popp (Verde PR), and everyone else who pitched in on our communications team: Sean Knotts, Ben Wahler, Jen Rapp, and Blair Brown.

Of course, we're also grateful to Mother Nature for timing rainstorms perfectly around our event. The first raindrops fell as participants said farewell after a very satisfying day's work.

 Enjoy more photos of the Santa Barbara Backyard Collective on Facebook.

 *To learn more about the Backyard Collective Program click here: