GVB logo 12-4-09 email.jpg   October 2012 Newsletter

GVB Board Celebrates Sister Witness Tree Designation as National Champion


GVB Board members Phebe Mansur, Zea Bauer, Kim True, Tami Mason , and David Fainer at Sister Witness Tree


Several local news media carried the story from the City of Goleta announcing the desingation of the sister Witness Tree as a national Champion sycamore.  Many of you have asked where the tree is located and if they can go see it.    The tree is located in Old Town Goleta on the western bank of the San Jose Creek in what will be a new City Park, but the tree is currently not accessible.  City staff and contractors are currently conducting a biological assessment of the area as well as developing future design plans for the park.  You can see the tree from the north side of Hollister Avenue looking towards the mountains almost directly in line with the Witness Tree in the old Sizzler Restaurant on the south side of Hollister Avenue.


The Sister Witness Tree was named to show its relation to the more well known Witness Tree, a local landmark.  The term Witness Tree was commonly referred to in old surveyor maps to identify land boundaries, and also to mark the location of trees associated with significant events or locations.

GVB Grant Projects Underway

In addition to generous membership support, Goleta Valley beautiful is very active in competing for grants to bring additional resources into our community.  GVB staff and volunteers are hard at work on a California ReLeaf/EPA grant to expand our urban forestry education efforts in local schools.  You will see GVB at more Science Nights, as well as distributing waterproof tree hangers identifying the benefits of trees.


Also in the works is a grant project from the California Resources Agency to plant 1888 trees along the Los Carneros and Glen Annie/Storke interchanges.  We are getting the necessary additional approvals and should be ready to start work later this month. 

nwm_image email.jpg   Sign up for Goleta Valley Beautiful October NeighborWoods Month Volunteer Events

NeighborWoods is the annual celebration of trees in our communities. Every October, tens of thousands of volunteers take action to make their communities greener and healthier by planting trees—turning their neighborhoods into vibrant, livable NeighborWoods!  Our fall tree planting and care schedule includes Saturday morning events from 9 to Noon, and Saturday afternoons from 1 to 4 pm.  In order to keep our events up to date, we are now posting all of our events on our website volunteer events calendar at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org. During weekdays, we are working at the Devereux Greenhouse. To get to the Greenhouse, From Storke Road and El Colegio, continue towards ocean on Slough Road for 1/2 mile, turn left onto Devereux Way, proceed 50 feet to the stop sign, turn right and go halfway around the circular road until you see the dirt road entrance to the Greenhouse.  We do have special projects for student interested in earning community service credits, and weekday events.   For all volunteer tree care events, please RSVP at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org.  Any questions call (805)685-7910.


Roadside trash collection in the Goleta area continues on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.  Call Don and Judy Nason 964-4895 to RSVP.  Call 964-7117 to participate in graffiti removal and to report incidents in your area as soon as you see it. 

Day of Caring Event Attracts 149 Volunteers

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Thanks to the 149 volunteers who contributed 498 community service hours at the 9/15/12 Goleta Valley Beautiful tree care event at Dos Pueblos High School as part of the United Way Day of Caring. Volunteers provided tree care for 150 trees planted by GVB over the last ten years. Tree care services included weeding, mulching, and transporting pruned material for disposal. Volunteer groups participating included Westmont College, Montecito Bank and Trust, Raytheon, Mentor, Santa Barbara City College, Ocean Hills, Towe-Flannery, Reina Del Mar, City of Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos High School.

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Tree Stories – The Nacimiento Oak Tree

This month’s tree story is provided by long time resident and Goleta Valley Beautiful Development Committee Co-Chair Jean Blois. 


Oak Tree at the Lake

Having 4 older brothers is hard enough on a youngster, but my youngest son also had a real water phobia. We, as a family spent every other week-end during the summer at Lake Nacimiento.

All his big brothers swam, water-skied, fished and spent hours at the big OLD oak tree near our dock.  This remarkable tree had a very stout rope swing which could readily soar over the water.  Of course, when the swing was at the optimum spot, the occupant jumped into the water with a most satisfying splash.

This little tad NEVER even got wet – if at all possible.  He spent hours throwing pebbles and rocks into the water, building mud castles and fishing with a simple hook and line tied to a stick.  He also very patiently waited his turn on the swing.  However, he merely enjoyed swinging back and forth and hoping off, on land, when anyone else came along.

His brothers most often had their individual buddies along to enjoy throwing each other into the water, and other boisterous activities.  Little guy always wore a life vest, but, I, personally, threatened all these visitors with the most vile of  punishments if any one of them should think it was really funny to throw the little guy in.

We spent many most enjoyable times up there and everyone in the family – even the teenagers- loved to go.  At age 40, I even learned to single water ski – thanks to my oldest son’s instructions.

One very pleasant warm afternoon, I was relaxing on our dock, reading a book, when I noticed the little guy swinging back and forth.  Out of the blue, he landed in the water.  I dove off to “rescue” him; he looked at my in astonishment and asked why I was in the water with my hat and dark glasses on.  I explained that I thought he had fallen off the swing; but, no,  he had just decided it was time to jump in.  From that moment on, he was in the water all the time.

Sadly. that wonderful old oak tree cracked and fell over so we no longer have a swinging entrance to the water.


-       Jean Blois


Send us  your thoughts about trees that have had an influence upon your life and your memories, and we’ll publish it in upcoming newsletters.  Photos past and present are welcome. 

Recommended trees for our urban coastal area

           - White Alder - Alnus rhombifolia

  tree      leaf

This is an ongoing monthly feature in response to the constant questions we get about what species of trees grow best in our area.   We’ll feature a new tree every month. For the month of October we are featuring the White Alder!


The White Alder is a deciduous tree native to this area.  This is an excellent riparian tree (it loves water) that is fast growing (36” per year) generally to a height of 50’ or more and spread of about 40’.  Despite being a riparian tree, it is relatively tolerant of heat and wind in urban landscaped areas.  Due to its extensive root system, the White Alder is not on the approved street tree list of most south Santa Barbara County municipalities.   However GVB has planted the tree extensively in open areas around schools such as Dos Pueblos High, Fire station 11, and restoration areas on the UCSB campus. For more detailed information on this and other trees, please visit Selectree on the web at www.ufei.org/selectree.

Goleta Valley Beautiful News Briefs

Membership Survey – We’ve had over 50 responses to our membership survey but we would still like to hear from you.  The link to the survey is http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GSZFP96.  The survey is only five questions long and should take less than 5 minutes to complete.  Let’s hear from you.  Results will be published in next month’s newsletter   

California Lemon Festival October 13-14 – Volunteers are needed for helping staff our booth at the annual lemon festival at Girsh Park.  We’ll be demonstrating how to grow and care for lemon trees in our area, along with other things you should know about trees.  Two hour volunteer shifts are open on Saturday from 10 to 6 and Sunday from 11-5.   Call 685-7910 if you can spare some time.

Goleta Valley Beautiful Board of Directors – We have had a strong interest in candidates for five open seats on the Board of Directors.  The new Board members will be installed during our October meeting.  We’ll update you in our next Newsletter.

Fall Interns  - All fall 2012 intern positions are now closed.   We have a great creew of 14 interns at the Devereux Greenhouse, and 4 interns working on education and mapping programs in the GVB office.  Photos of some of the new interns are included below and the remainder will be presented in next month’s newsletter.  

Thanks for your votes! - Goleta Valley Beautiful President David Fainer is a finalist in the Cox Conserves Heroes Award Program, which honors local conservation efforts.  Thank you for submitting your vote.  The individual with the most votes will receive a $5,000 award from Cox Communication for their organization.  The winners will be announced later this month. 

Thanks also to last month’s sponsors including: The Alliance for Community Trees (ACT) People’s Garden Grant, UCSB Coastal Fund, the City of Goleta, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, California ReLeaf, Santa Barbara County Resource Recovery and Waste management Division, SB County Public Works, Devereux, and hundreds of GVB donor members.  Please mention to our supporters how much you appreciate their support of Goleta Valley Beautiful.  You can find the list of our donor members at our website at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org.  

 Statistical information about previous tree care events including the amount/locations of trees and volunteers can now be found in the archives of the education section of our website.   

If the hyperlink does not work, you can cut and paste the e-link into the address area of your browser.  Your comments to kknight@goletavalleybeautiful.org will help us build a better communications link.   To remove your name from the monthly e-mail newsletter list, please reply to this e-mail with the word 'remove ' in the subject.