From a tragic oil spill, comes an annual celebration
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -
The 1969 Santa Barbara offshore oil spill was one of the worst environmental events in local history, but from it has come an annual event that celebrates efforts to create a healthier earth.
This weekend a two day “Earth Day” festival will take place at AlamedaPark in downtown.
The 1969 oil spill in the Santa Barbara Channel turned the water black, killed marine life and shore birds, and also brought an environmental movement to the surface that went across the country.
“Yea that oil spill when it hit the shores, it galvanized this community and sent shock waves across the nation. Legislators went back to their offices and in D.C. and said this is just unacceptable,” said Dave Fortson with the Community Environmental Council.
Earth Day was once thought to be something of a “hippy era” event. Now, it’s one of the biggest events of the year, with thousands of people out to see see and hear the latest environmental message.
“This is a mainstream movement to become more sustainable and not have to sacrifice the quality of your car or the performance of what is going on in your house or your lifestyle,” said Fortson
The festival will feature 250 booths and exhibits, live music, demonstrations, and very little energy will be used.
There will also be a bicycle valet for 1000 bikes, hosted by the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition.
One solar company is even drawing on the sun to power the grid..
Brian Ghiglia with REC Solar says, “We’ve got a 4 kw system here that will be plugged into the grid and contributing to the power for the overall event.”
He says these days energy savings products are more affordable than in the past, and many come with tax breaks.
“When you look at the cost of your utility power and reconcile that against the cost of solar energy very quickly it makes sense, and now we have financing options,” said Ghiglia.
The environmental message will be displayed in many ways over both sides of AlamedaPark. In the middle will be hybrid and electric cars lining one city block including the high end Tesla, that will be on display for test drives.
There will also be events for children and some will be hands on.
Santa Barbara will have a plastic bag ban in place beginning May 14th, and many vendors will have free reusable bags for shoppers.
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LOCAL NETWORKING & BUSINESS EVENTS
EARTH DAY l COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL
4.26 – 4.27.2014 - Find out how to become an exhibitor at Earth Day 2014! Why do more than 130 businesses sponsor Santa Barbara Earth Day? With over 35,000 people in attendance at the 2013 Earth Day Festival, and thousands more as our growing number of fans and followers online, this annual festival has a track record for being one of the best marketing opportunities for national corporate partners, community businesses, and media outlets who have a green message. Our packages are designed for small and large companies.
Links to: http://sbearthday.org/
By Erin Lennon/[email protected]
This year’s Central Coast Helping Hands event will send volunteers to a number of projects in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties Saturday.
Helping Hands has partnered with the San Luis Obispo County food bank and the 5 Cities Homeless Coalition, besides the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.
Food can be dropped off and sorted Arroyo Grande High School.
Volunteers also will collect and sort food donations as well as paint the Santa Barbara County food bank’s 100 collection barrels and repackage bulk foods at St. Joseph High School in Orcutt.
“The great thing about what’s happening this Saturday is that people will have a venue to come out and help, especially during the drought,” said Darlene Chavez, community leadership manager for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “We’re not getting as many donations of fresh produce, and that kind of pinches our wallet a bit.”
As California’s drought continues to drive up produce prices, the food bank’s expenses are expected to increase by $200,000, making it tougher to provide for its clients and its more than 300 nonprofit partners. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County served more than 100,000 people last year, providing food assistance to one in four county residents.
“Even if people can’t stay and help us sort or do other projects, if they can just drop off food, that’s great too,” said Darren Hulstine, president of the Santa Maria California Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Hulstine’s group has hosted the Central Coast Helping Hands event for about eight years.
Organizers have scheduled a number of other projects to keep community volunteers busy in both counties.
In San Luis Obispo County, participants can help with landscaping and maintenance projects at the Arroyo Grande Women’s Shelter and the Arroyo Grande Community Gardens.
Others can help with repairs at St. Joseph High School, the Dunes Center and the Historic Jail in Guadalupe. Organizers will also send volunteers over to the Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center to take part in Serve Santa Maria Day, an annual day of local community service.
For more information or to volunteer, visit centralcoast helpinghands.org or call 714-2901.
Posted Friday April 25, 2014
Read the full story here:
Published on 04.24.2014 10:55 a.m.
The Community Environmental Council is pleased to announce the 2014 Environmental Hero Award recipient for Earth Day. Santa Barbara CountySupervisor Salud Carbajal will accept the award in person on the main stage at 2:45 p.m. this Sunday, April 27, which will be presented by Dave Davis, president and CEO of the CEC.
“We’re really happy to be honoring Supervisor Salud Carbajal with this year’s Environmental Hero Award,” said Sigrid Wright, associate director of the CEC and the festival’s director. “He has done an incredible job of using his role in local government to affect global issues like climate change.”
In addition to an extensive list of accomplishments that work to promote sustainable and resilient communities in our region, Supervisor Carbajal is a member of President Barack Obama’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Climate Task Force.
“He is an outstanding example of how environmentalism starts at home, and I’m personally very proud of CEC’s partnership with him,” Davis said.
Carbajal was first elected to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in 2004 and most recently was re-elected to a third term that started in January 2013. He received a bachelor of arts degree from UCSB and holds a master’s degree in organizational management from FieldingUniversity. He served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, including active duty service during the 1991 Gulf War.
During his time serving as a member of the Board of Supervisors, Carbajal has demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting our natural environment and resources, enhancing public health and safety, and working regionally to address transportation, housing, and workforce challenges. His accomplishments include:
» initiating the county effort to adopt an Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gases emissions throughout the county
» the adoption of a County Sustainability Plan to make county facilities more sustainable and energy efficient
» the establishment of the emPowerSBC program, which provides incentives for local homeowners and businesses to perform energy retrofits
» protection of open spaces including the GaviotaCoast
» leading the effort to organize the 2013 Resiliency Symposium, which brought together leaders from throughout the Tri-Counties to begin the dialogue on making our community more resilient in the face of climate change
In addition to his service on the Board of Supervisors, Carbajal serves on the following boards and committees that work to promote sustainable and resilient communities: President Obama’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Climate Task Force; U.S. EPA Local Government Advisory Committee as Vice Chair; U.S. EPA National and Governmental Advisory Committee to the U.S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation; National Association of Counties Energy Environment and Land Use Committee; ICLEI USA Board member; and is Chair of the NACo Green Government Initiative.
Earth Day Festival
The Community Environmental Council’s 2014 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festivaltakes place this Saturday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at AlamedaPark, 1400 Santa Barbara St. in Santa Barbara.
Widely acknowledged as the birthplace of the modern environmental movement, this year’s theme “Local Roots” focuses on bringing the community together to connect at a local level and help make a global impact. The festival will be organized around the CEC’s five initiatives: Drive Less, Choose Electric, Go Solar, Ditch Plastic, and Eat Local.
The festival will include the annual Green Car Show containing the largest collection of efficient and alternative fueled vehicles between Los Angeles and San Francisco a farm-to-table dinner, a Meet Your Makers section with local artisans, over 200 exhibitors, a food court, beer and wine garden, main stage, two mini-stages offering music and demonstrations and much more. The CEC’s Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival is free for attendees.
— Candice Tang Nyholt is a publicist representing the Community Environmental Council.
By Sigrid Wright | Published on 04.24.2014 2:49 p.m.
On April 22 — the official, nationally designated Earth Day — my email box blows up. Not just from the usual business of managing our local Earth Day festival, but from the mass of e-newsletters and Facebook posts calling attention to the day. They come from every corner of society. A statewide religious consortium. Elected officials. A local attorney’s office. Some are fluff, others are sincere calls for action, and others call into question what it’s all for.
I ask this question of myself, and of the team that works for months to pull together Santa Barbara’s Earth Day Festival. The community effort that goes into coordinating our local event — one of the largest, most consistently held environmental gatherings in the U.S. — takes more than 2,000 volunteer hours over the course of months. For dozens of people who feel the importance of carrying this legacy, it means significant personal sacrifice. For the 35,000 people who will attend, it means giving up a day (or two) to gather in AlamedaPark.
According to our region’s environmental pioneers, Santa Barbara’s first Earth Day in 1970 was a small but heartfelt affair. Organized as one of the first public activities of the Community Environmental Council, it was part of a nationwide day of “Environmental Teach-Ins,” modeled after the anti-war effort.
That first gathering promoted solutions that we take utterly for granted today. TheEnvironmental Protection Agency did not exist. The Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act did not exist. Recycling was not part of our daily public infrastructure. Even the bakery at the first Santa Barbara festival that offered whole wheat bread — symbolizing the beginnings of a health food movement — was considered counter-culture.
Now, a generation or two later, Santa Barbara’s Earth Day Festival has changed significantly, as has the landscape around us. Some say we are now in the midst of an extinction crisis — what Elizabeth Kolbert calls the Sixth Extinction. We have crossed the threshold of acceptable levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Population, climate change and resource limits are at the root of major systemic stress. It’s been a long time since a scientific study has been released saying that things are looking great.
We have work to do, and part of that work is to support each other and celebrate small victories. (As poet Wendell Berry says: Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.) It may be that one of the most important tools we need now is to build internal strength and resilience. The counter balance to the difficult realities we face is not conjuring up false optimism, but knowing how to stay centered and clear in intention in the face of droughts and polar vortexes and resource conflicts.
This is what I think Earth Day gatherings can offer. Those new to environmentalism are recognizing the magnitude of the situation and need support and perspective. Those who have been at it for awhile need fresh ideas and renewal. We band with others to share stories, to bear witness to the changes around us, and to say “not on my watch.” We look to each other for inspiration, and to remind each other that solutions we can’t even begin to imagine now can emerge with surprising speed.
And here is where I am going to get metaphysical for a moment. The biggest problems of our time aren’t climate change and human-induced collapse of systems. Those are the symptoms of a world out of balance, of people disconnected from nature and each other.
This is why I like to suggest that people take two Earth Days — one to get out into nature, preferably alone or with someone you can be quiet with, leaving behind the twittery technology. And then, on your second Earth Day, gather. Dance with friends, share a meal with your community. Learn how to grow your own vegetables and save the seeds. Dig out your bike with its splashy tires and bring it to the festival for a tune up. Think about plastic and how insane it is that we would turn our remaining oil into bottles and bags that we use for five minutes before throwing them away. That is the disconnected world we are going to start stepping away from.
Yes, there will be hypocrisy. Someone somewhere will drive to Earth Day in a gas guzzler. There will be political posturing. Some company will try to sell you a product you don’t want; some organization will espouse a doctrine you find too heavy-handed, or not enough. But that’s part of the growth of the movement, isn’t it? Not the hypocrisy or posturing or greenwashing, but the fact that with 7.2 billion people now on the planet, we are negotiating our own definitions of what it means to be “environmentalists,” or of this Earth.
(Given Farm photo)
It’s easy to think of every day as Earth Day when you get to enjoy the bounty that abounds in Santa Barbara County. Just walk the booths of any of the farmers’ markets, or even better grow some great produce or fruit yourself and you will know just what I mean–we live in an eater’s paradise.
That point will get underscored this Saturday, April 26th at the first ever Farm to Table Dinner at Earth Day from 7-9 pm at Alameda Park. After all the other hoopla celebrating gaia, a group of people will partake in an outdoor pop-up unlike any other. Plus it gives people in town the chance to feast on the food of chef Jeff Olsson, known as the longtime proprietor of New West Catering, whose recently opened Industrial Eats in Buellton has been earning raves (if a bit too far away raves). His eats will be matched with wine from Buttonwood Farm Winery and beer from Firestone Walker Brewing Co., too, so no one goes thirsty.
The evening kicks off with a reception around the gazebo (so wonderful worker bees can set the meal up as partiers look on) that features artisan snacks by Isabella Gourmet Foods (the fine upscale market-almost-deli on Figueroa) accompanied by 2012 Buttonwood Grenache Blanc, Firestone 805, and Lori’s Lemonade–lovely local drinks all.
What will follow is Olsson’s four-course family style feast (so you have to rub elbows and talk and learn the pleasures of the table).
Course 1: minestrone of white beans, green garlic, and black kale with olive oil grissini (breadsticks, that is), accompanied by the 2012 Buttonwood Signature Sauvignon Blanc
Course 2: little gems with farm egg, crispy pancetta, and shallot-thyme vinaigrette AND Chapala Farms braised mustard greens with charred tomato, fennel, and basil, accompanied by the 2013 Buttonwood Syrah Rose
Course 3: heirloom beets with fresh favas, Drake Farms goat cheese and burnt honey-cayenne vinaigrette AND curry roasted cauliflower with hot chile, sweet onion, and mint PLUS New Vineland bread and crackers, heirloom tomato butter, Buttonwood Farm olive oil and tapenades, accompanied by the 2010 Buttonwood Cabernet Franc
Course 4: spring berry pudding with olive oil cake and Rancho La Vina walnut cookie, Green Star coffee
“With our festival theme this year of Local Roots, we wanted to drive a conversation around locally grown food,” says Sigrid Wright, Earth Day Festival Director. “Our global food system is incredibly intensive in terms of water and energy, and yet three times a day we all have the power to make choices that are better for the planet. Eating locally grown, in-season food is one way to make Earth Day every day.” (OK, maybe someone influenced my lead to this blog post a tiny bit.)
“We also wanted to create something at Earth Day that helps stitch the fabric of community,” Wright continued. “Putting people at a table to literally break bread together is very powerful. The farm-to-table dinner is about giving thanks for the abundance of our region, exposing people to an exquisitely designed vegetarian-friendly menu, and ultimately building community.”
Tickets are being sold for $60 a person and guests must be 21 or older. For info, check out the CEC webpage.
Garden Court on De La Vina
Design: Kim Rossi, daughter of
Garden Court resident.
Garden Court will join Santa Barbara’s award winning 1st Thursday arts and culture program with “Art for the Ages,” a showcase featuring wrks from resident seniors, family members, local students and agency partners, such as: the Dream Foundation, Ballard Lane Winery, Sunrise Rotary Club and the Braille Institute. There will also be a raffle prize. Creative works on display will include drawings, paintings, photography, lifetime accomplishments and more.
Light snacks and refreshments including fresh lemonade and wine tastings from local vintners will be served, as well as live music to be performed by Ron Paris, formerly of the Platters. This event is free and open to the public to enjoy a great evening of original art, music and friends!
Date: Thursday, May 1st
Time: 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Garden Court, 1116 De La Vina Street, Santa Barbara, 93101
To RSVP, or for more information, please contact Chris Tucker, Executive Director of Garden Court at (805) 884-0095 or visit www.gardencourt.org.?
“Growth Spurt ,” 40” x 30,” acrylic, by Laurie MacMillan
Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Solo Art Exhibition and Open House
Laurie MacMillan’s “My Back Yard”
Join Hospice of Santa Barbara for its next art exhibition and open house to enjoy wine, refreshments, and Laurie MacMillan’s art exhibit, entitled “My Back Yard,” featuring her work celebrating nature’s constant renewal and the earth’s dynamism.
After careers in real estate and travel writing, MacMillan discovered painting as a way to express her love of nature and geology. She uses texture, shape and color in her pieces to express her emotional reaction to the earth’s natural features and forces. In addition to winning the Arts Fund Individual Artist Award in abstract painting in 2008, MacMillan has participated in dozens of juried group shows and her work can be found in numerous private collections. “My Back Yard” will be her fifth solo show.
Thirty percent of the show’s sale proceeds will be donated to Hospice of Santa Barbara.
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Leigh Block Gallery at Hospice of Santa Barbara, 2050 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite #100, Santa Barbara
Exhibition Dates: May 14 – Aug. 1, 2014 by appointment
For more information, please call Hospice of Santa Barbara at (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.