Goleta Valley Beautiful held its 36th annual Awards and Silent Auction on Sunday afternoon at the Rancho La Patera & Stow House gardens, 304 N. Los Carneros Road.

The annual event recognizes Santa Barbara and Goleta businesses and residents who have made a special contribution to the preservation and beautification of Goleta.

This year’s honorees included the Thomas Hope House, the Crown Collection, Cavaletto Orchard, Neighborwoods Tree Plantings, Bermant Development & Mentor Corp., Little Acorn Park, Sumida Gardens Apartments, the Martin residence, South Coast Church, San Clemente Student Housing and El Colegio Road Landscaping.

The Golden Shovel Award, given to the volunteer of the year, was granted to Thom Myall, a forester with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Myall is a former board member of the Goleta Valley Beautiful and served as the organization’s Web master for several years.

The Community Volunteer of the Year nod went to Mimi Elder, who has been one of the driving forces behind the Beautify Dos Pueblos High School program.

Outstanding Community Group went to the Boy Scouts of America, Los Padres Council, who have undertaken several beautification and neighborhood projects locally.

The Devereaux greenhouse also was recognized for growing native organic trees, which are often contributed to Goleta Valley Beautiful.

“There are close to 4,000 trees that are ready to plant from Devereaux,” said GVB President David Faimer, who also emceed the event. “GVB is committed for two whole years to maintain every tree that we plant, and the local organic trees donated by Devereaux make it much easier to maintain those trees.”

Goleta Valley Beautiful is a nonprofit organization working to enhance the beauty and environmental sustainability of the Goleta Valley. Each year, GVB plants 500 trees around Goleta, in addition to providing educational programs for schools, and spearheading graffiti removal and neighborhood beautification projects, among others.

Sunday’s event featured a silent auction, with prizes that included a two-night stay at the Holiday Inn, six movie passes to Metropolitan Theatres, two day passes to Disneyland and two 50-minute spa treatments at The Biltmore. Several trees and flower pots also were auctioned off, which included delivery and planting by GVB.

Goleta Mayor Pro-Tem Margaret Connell was on hand for the event.

Fainer was succinct throughout the awards ceremony, and ended the afternoon in the same fashion.

“You’re all here because you know what GVB is,” he said. “I encourage you all to continue to participate, and we truly appreciate all of your past support.”

Click here for more information about Goleta Valley Beautiful.

— Kevin McFadden is a Noozhawk contributor.