Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 6:56 am | Fair 49º


Planting for Tomorrow: Goleta Valley Beautiful Honors Award Recipients

39th annual event also serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit, with food, entertainment and a silent auction

[Click here for a Noozhawk photo gallery from the event.]

It was beautiful, but a little cool and cloudy, at the 39th annual Goleta Valley Beautiful Awards and Fundraiser held outdoors at the exclusive Dos Pueblos Ranch.

A couple of hundred guests donned jackets and sweaters to ward off the drizzle and light rain at the oceanside Casa Grande of the Dos Pueblos Ranch estate just west of Goleta. The Bren Grass Band provided live entertainment while a silent auction, which included many plants and trees, took place nearby on the lawn. Prizes included an overnight getaway at the Bacara Resort & Spa, tickets to Disneyland, a creekside cabin retreat at El Capitan Canyon resort, firewood from Elks Lodge No. 613, as well as original artwork.

Goleta Valley Beautiful is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the beauty and environmental health of the Goleta Valley. For the past 39 years, the organization has planted thousands of trees on publicly owned land. The annual event raises funds for the organization as well as recognizing those who beautify the greater Goleta community.

After enjoying an authentic Cinco de Mayo-themed buffet provided by Jesus Mendez of El Zarape Mexican Food, supporters applauded award winners in several categories. The Coal Oil Point Reserve received the Open Space Award; Cristina Sandoval serves as director of this coastal-strand environment that includes the Devereux Slough. The Single-Family Residence Award went to James Baxter and Annette Winters, owners of 224 Carlo Drive. Landscape designer Joan Bolton was also on hand for the award. Olive trees with mounds of Mediterranean plantings in purple, pink and white blooms characterize this beautiful yard renovation.

Next, Frieslander/Nederlander Holding, the new owner of the commercial/office building at 111 Castilian Drive in Goleta, was recognized for transforming a ho-hum 1960s building into a cool, retro renovation with glass accents, black pebbles, purple paint, slate tile and up-lighting. The transformed property now features drought-tolerant landscaping maintained by Goleta-based Kitson Landscape Management Co. and designed by LMA Architects.

The effervescent Patricia Bragg accepted the award in the orchard/farm category for Bragg’s Synergy Organic Farm. Bragg Farms in Winchester Canyon continues the Goleta Valley’s agricultural heritage. The farm is developing a commercial apple orchard and is preserving century-old walnut trees. It produces many Bragg products. The farm also boasts an educational center and organic fruit orchard.

A very large firetruck managed a parking spot in the Dos Pueblos Ranch lawn area. Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. David Neels and Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf were on hand to accept an award for the Fallen Firefighter Memorial. The Firefighters Benevolent Foundation worked for eight years to design and raise the money to construct the memorial, which sits on a hillcrest leading to the county Fire Department headquarters on Cathedral Oaks Road.

Elizabeth and David Alix, owners of their 5081 Amberly Place residence, were nominated by the Goleta Water District for their drought-tolerant garden and site water redirection and retention.

“I am expecting a large cash gift or an award today,” quipped “Mr. Santa Barbara” Larry Crandell, who received the Lifetime Contribution Award for his 20-plus years of donating his wit, humor and silver tongue as master of ceremonies and volunteer leader for scores of local nonprofit organizations. Crandell recently turned 90.

The Golden Shovel Award went to longtime Goleta resident Jeffrey Boyle.

“I lived in the Los Angeles area for a decade,” he said. “I was able to move back to Goleta, and it made me appreciate so much more what this area has to offer — the trees, the beach, the beauty.”

The Community Partner Award was presented to Mormon Helping Hands, where church members participate in organized activities to serve the local community. The group has been active in street tree planting, pathway building projects and greenhouse renovations.

The wonderfully maintained Pacific Oaks residential community, represented by Craig Zimmerman of The Towbes Group, landsclape architect Paul Suding and architect Carl Schneider were on hand to accept the Multi-Family Residential Award. Pacific Oaks was built in the 1990s between Glen Annie and Storke roads by The Towbes Group. The Homeowners Association has maintained its trees, open space and ample landscaping in a parklike environment for the enjoyment and enrichment of residents and neighbors.

San Marcos High School garnered the Public Institutional Award for its extensive remodel at the corner of Patterson Road and Hollister Avenue. New buildings replaced portable classrooms and colorful plantings and new trees have transformed the campus. Joe Wilcox AIA of Kruger Bensen Ziemer was the architect, Sam Maphis IV the landscape architect and Steve Hendricks of RSH Construction the general contractor.

The Heritage Tree Award went to the Coast Live Oak Tree at UC Santa Barbara. The ancient tree is 65.5 inches in diameter and was found on maps dating back to 1871. UCSB preserved the tree during the 1990s when the UCSB Recreation Center was designed and built.

“There were 200 native species of trees in Goleta, only 13 remains,” said keynote speaker Robert Muller Ph.D. of Yale University. “Here at Casa Grande at Dos Pueblos Ranch, there are 30 species of trees; they all have stories. The Coastal Live Oak is the only native tree.”

Click here for more information on Goleta Valley Beautiful, or call executive director Ken Knight at 805.685.7910.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow her on Twitter: @NoozhawkSociety and connect with Noozhawk on Facebook and Pinterest.

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