Thursday, August 25 , 2016, 4:06 pm | Fair 70º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube
 
 
 
 

Botanic Garden to Celebrate Reopening of Fire-Ravaged Campbell Bridge

On May 6, 2009, flames from the Jesusita Fire swept through Mission Canyon and burned 70 percent of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s 78 acres. Because of the heroic efforts of emergency personnel, much of the garden’s core was spared — but not all of it. The historic Campbell Bridge was completely destroyed.

Thanks to the generous support of more than 400 individual donations totaling $81,353, the Campbell Bridge is being rebuilt by the community, for the community.

To show heartfelt appreciation, the garden would like to invite community members to celebrate the bridge’s reconstruction with a ribbon-cutting and “Community Crossing” on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, Feb. 14. The festivities for this “valentine” to the community will begin at 10:30 a.m. Refreshments will be served in the Garden Courtyard immediately following.

“We are so pleased to welcome the public to this celebration,” said Dr. Steve Windhager, SBBG’s executive director. “Rebuilding the bridge has truly been a community effort, and we are very grateful for their support. Not only does the rebuilding of this structure provide an easier way for our visitors to explore the west side of our grounds across Mission Creek, it provides our staff with vital access to our living displays to the gardens in that area.”

A Brief History of the Campbell Bridge

The original Campbell Bridge was made possible through a generous gift from Ina Therese Campbell in 1941. An integral piece of the garden’s trail system, the bridge connects the two sides of Mission Creek.

Through the years, thousands of visitors crossed the bridge to experience and enjoy the serenity of the riparian corridor along Mission Creek. Originally designed by Lockwood de Forest Jr., the Campbell Bridge represents the rustic character which has made the garden famous, leading the County of Santa Barbara to designate the bridge and several other features at the Garden as historic landmarks. The architectural design of the new Campbell Bridge pays homage to the original naturalistic elements while using today’s safety standards and materials.

It’s All in the Family: Contractor’s Connection to the Garden Dates Back to the 1950s

Peter Lapidus grew up on an avocado ranch in Carpinteria, where he learned an appreciation and respect for the outdoors from his grandfather, Campbell Grant (no relation to Ina Therese Campbell), an avid outdoorsman, teacher and artist. Grant spent many years in the local backcountry, recognized the important work of the garden, and even created early maps for the organization.

Grant was a trustee for the garden for more than 30 years from 1951 until 1986 and was board president from 1966 to 1975. In 1958, the garden published Wildflowers of Santa Barbara, with text by then-Director Katherine Muller, Ph.D., and photographs by Grant.

“One of my grandfather’s favorite quotes was borrowed from a Native American chief: ‘The earth does not belong to Man. Man belongs to the Earth,’” Lapidus said. “He fully embraced this ideology, and I believe the garden is a good reflection of that philosophy.”

In addition to his grandfather, Lapidus has several other familial links to the garden. Encouraged by his friend Grant, fellow botanical enthusiast “Bud” Harrison Allen, grandfather of Hilary Lapidus (Peter’s wife), joined the garden’s board where he served from 1969 until 1987. Allen was an avid plant propagator and always arrived with a gift plant for the host of any function he attended.

Yet another of Lapidus’ garden connections was through his grandmother (Campbell’s wife), Clara Lou Grant, who joined the Garden Guild upon her retirement in 1984. Over the next 20 years, she spent many happy hours as a volunteer with fellow Guild members creating fanciful objects from seed pods and other botanical elements which continue to be sold in the garden’s Gift Shop to this day.

“It was such an honor for our company to have been selected as the contractor for this particular project, not only for the opportunity to build a structure of historic significance like the Campbell Bridge at a community treasure like the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, but also because of the personal connection and long history I have to this special place through my family,” said Peter Lapidus, president of Peter Lapidus Construction. “During construction, the employees really enjoyed being able to work in such a stunning and unique environment. Often we work on projects that are not open to the public. It is a great feeling when you can return to the site of something meaningful you constructed and know it will improve the Garden visitors’ experience for many more generations to come.”

— Joni Kelly is the communications manager for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >