by Michael Imwalle
The United Way Day of Caring provides an opportunity to give back to the community through a morning of helping out various nonprofits in the Santa Barbara area. It is the single largest volunteer event in Santa Barbara County with more than 1,600 volunteers laboring at fifty-one work sites. For more than a decade, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation staff has worked with Day of Caring volunteers to make repairs, routine maintenance, make adobe bricks, and garden at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park.
This year more than forty-five volunteers including groups from Brown & Brown Insurance Group, MacFarlane, Faletti, & Co., Invoca, Young Leaders Society, and the Anacapa School helped SBTHP staff complete a variety of important projects. Trust staffers Eduardo Garcia and Christa Clark Jones supervised the whitewashing of the Northeast Corner adobes. This is an enormous task and is only accomplished when large groups of volunteers can be assembled. Eduardo also supervised a group of volunteers who cleaned, sanded, and painted six benches from the patio of Casa de la Guerra. We have been trying to get that chore done for more than a year. Thanks to the army of volunteers from United Way it was completed in a matter of hours.
Lucas Nichols, Tim Aguilar, and I supervised the excavation of an archaeological feature near the second defense wall foundation. Volunteers excavated, screened, and sorted material from a feature that appears to date to the period between 1890 and 1910. This excavation is being conducted to advance the design of the second outer defense wall as part of the 4 x 4 x 4 capital campaign.
Anne Petersen supervised a group of volunteers in the Presidio Heritage Gardens. Garden volunteers pulled out the last of the summer crops and delivered mulch to the planters in preparation of our winter garden. They also did some important pruning to our heritage grape vines. A special team of “chicken whisperers” from Anacapa School led by Brittany Sundberg helped clean out the recently installed chicken coop and installed new bedding material in their nesting boxes. The six happy Minorcan Black Hens were very happy to have the company!
Thank you to Sally Fouhse and Sue Udden, for organizing the sign-in table, morning coffee, and pizza lunch for everyone. Thanks to Ximena Farfan, Day of Caring intern from the United Way of Santa Barbara County for organizing the volunteers. Special thanks to all the volunteers that made the 2015 Day of Caring such a productive day at El Presidio de Santa Barbara SHP. For more photos from the day, see our Flickr album here.
Michael Imwalle is the archaeologist at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.