On September 20, 2014 about thirty volunteers from all over Santa Barbara County donated half of their Saturday to the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation to help out with projects at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. The volunteers had previously registered for service through the United Way’s Day of Caring program, during which the organization coordinates hundreds of volunteers and sends them out to nonprofits throughout the County.
We divided our volunteers into three teams, with each team taking on an important piece of our reconstruction and maintenance work at El Presidio SHP. Team Adobe Bricks worked with SBTHP board member Tim Aguilar and his crew to make adobe bricks which will be used in the reconstruction of the northern section of the Presidio’s outer defense wall. The Volunteers poured wet adobe into the brick molds, punched out the air bubbles and then left them to dry in the sun on the Presidio parade ground, where they attracted attention from passers by.
A second team whitewashed a newly-plastered section of the Presidio’s outer defense wall. SBTHP staff was amazed by their progress throughout the morning– by chow call at noon they had covered every available square inch of wall!
The garden team helped prepare the Presidio Heritage Garden for a fall planting. This hardworking group uprooted spent summer plants, weeded four garden spaces, upturned the soil throughout and spread new compost over the planting beds. The following week our new Garden Interns from Anacapa School planted fall and winter vegetables in those beds.
SBTHP looks forward to working with the United Way Day of Caring Volunteers each year. The tremendous output of time and hard work greatly assists our efforts to to protect and maintain Santa Barbara’s founding place.