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2018 United Way Day of Caring Volunteers at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park

Volunteers clean the King Carlos statue. Photo by Mike Imwalle.


On September 15, 2018, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) participated in the 27th Annual United Way Day of Caring. Throughout the County more than 1000 volunteers participated to help over 50 charitable organizations. The event is the biggest single-day volunteer event in the tri-counties. The Day of Caring is held across the nation in September and October to support agencies that would otherwise not be able to complete projects due to financial or staffing shortages. Families are encouraged to participate to teach young people the importance of community service.

Wrapping adobe bricks before the rainy season. Photo by Mike Imwalle.


This year SBTHP was blessed with a multitude of individuals and families representing RDN, the Humanist Society of Santa Barbara, and the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. More than 25 volunteers were split into teams to work on numerous important projects at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.

Whitewashing the Presidio defense wall. Photo by Mike Imwalle.


SBTHP Maintenance Supervisor Eduardo Garcia trained a crew to carefully clean, polish and wax a bronze statue of King Carlos III of Spain. Standing on ladders for two hours is a grueling task but these two did an amazing job to help preserve the statue that was a gift to the City of Santa Barbara from the King of Spain. Ed also led a crew that re-wrapped and covered pallets of adobe bricks to prepare them for winter storage, and had a small army of whitewashers coating the outer defense wall on the Northeast Corner.

SBTHP’s Director of Advancement Zach Van Harn and I managed volunteers in the Presidio Heritage Gardens. The garden crews hauled in two cubic yards of compost, weeded, pruned, and turned over the soil at the gardens on the Northeast Corner in preparation of our fall/winter planting. Another crew tilled the soil around the trees in the orchard behind the Cañedo adobe, and a third team prepared the raised beds in the garden behind the Northwest Corner.

Spiffing up the Alhecama Theatre. Photo by Mike Imwalle.


Associate Director for Public Engagement Kevin McGarry coordinated a team that meticulously cleaned the walls, awnings, windows, and doors of the Alhecama Theatre. In a relatively short time, they also managed to wash glass panes of all the windows and doors. The Theatre, built in 1925 was designated a City of Santa Barbara Landmark in September 2018. This work was done in preparation of a special ArchiTec Tour of the Alhecama Theatre sponsored by the American Institute of Architects in October 2018.

Thanks everyone, for a great day! Photo by Mike Imwalle.


Thank you to SBTHP staff that participated in the event and a special thanks to the United Way Day of Caring staff and all their dedicated volunteers for another successful work day at El Presidio de Santa Barbara SHP. We could not have accomplished all this without you!

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