GVB logo 12-4-09 email.jpg August 2013 Newsletter

Alpha honors GVB for Service


Alpha Resource Center recognized the efforts of Goleta Valley Beautiful volunteers at their annual event on Saturday July 13th.  Alpha Director of Finance and Development Cory Woodruff presented a plaque to a group of GVB members in attendance including Board Secretary Zea Bauer, Volunteer Trainer George Jimenez, Fund Development Specialist Billie Maunz and Executive Director Ken Knight.  GVB works with the Alpha Work crew each month to plant and care for trees on the Alpha campus.  Our July event included planting a lemon tree on the lower campus area on July 18th.

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GVB helps Fun in the Sun children measure up


GVB interns Matt Manabat, Daniel Margana, and Executive Director Ken Knight brought tree science fun to the annual United Way Fun in the Sun program on 7/3/13 at El Camino School.  We explained how scientists track climate change by measuring tree rings, and also used triangulation methods to measure the height of a tree.

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Sign up for Goleta Valley Beautiful Summer Events

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There is always lots to do at the Devereux Greenhouse.  It’s pretty dry out there so the trees need our help preparing for the long summer with lots of weeding, watering and mulching.  Our Saturday morning events occur from 9 to Noon, usually at the Devereux Greenhouse. To get to the Greenhouse, from Storke Road and El Collegio, 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.   There are no Saturday afternoon events in the summertime, we’ll start them again in the fall when it gets cooler.  For all volunteer tree care events, please RSVP at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org.  Any questions call (805) 685-7910.

All of our events are posted on our website volunteer events calendar at www.goletavalleybeautiful.org.  Summaries of our events are also listed on our website calendar.  We do have special projects for students interested in earning community service credits, and weekday events.    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.

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Bye Hayley, Hello Angela


Long-time GVB Office Manager Hayley Cox, also a former intern and Board Member, is leaving for greener pastures in San Francisco now that she has her degree.  Our new Office Manager is Angela Wallace, previously with Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast and United Way of Santa Barbara County.  Angie has an added benefit of living within a block of GVB Central on Calaveras Avenue.  Welcome aboard.

Continuing series –You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

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Left to Right: Run over Trees, Trees furrowed too close, Gophers eating roots

Evergreen Terrace East residents/visitors apparently like cars more than trees.  At least three young trees along the western park strip of Northgate Drive have been driven over by illegally parked cars. We also lost 3 trees north of the bikeway on Cathedral Oaks Rd near Winchester Canyon when the ground was plowed within a foot of the trees for weed control purposes.  Trees spread out at the roots like the base of a wineglass in order to provide support and to get water from the soil.  Without roots to collect water, the tree dies.  And finally, a second Chinese Pistache died on Cathedral Oaks near Windsor due to gophers eating the roots.  It’s been a tough summer.

Drought Stricken Trees Call for Help

When drought hits, trees can suffer—a process that makes sounds. Now, scientists may have found the key to understanding these cries for help.  In the lab, a team of French scientists has captured the ultrasonic noise made by bubbles forming inside water-stressed trees. Because trees also make noises that aren't related to drought impacts, scientists hadn't before been able to discern which sounds are most worrisome.  Learn more in this National Geographic article at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/04/130415-trees-drought-water-science-global-warming-sounds.

Goleta Valley Beautiful News Briefs

Trees for Veterans Program Coming in September

Goleta Valley Beautiful will be initiating a new program in September aimed specifically for veterans.  We’ll be planting trees with veterans for veterans at their homes and at public areas providing veteran’s services throughout Santa Barbara County.  We’ll have a formal announcement coming next month.

Public Tree Advisory Commission 7/22/13 meeting

The City of Goleta Public Tree Advisory Commission met for one hour on Monday afternoon at 4 pm.  The agenda and staff report can be viewed on the City’s website under the City Event page, not the Government Meeting section.  The meetings are not televised or audio recorded.  Discussions about the staff report on the updates and status of the Goleta Urban Forest Management Plan could not be completed within the allotted time.  Further discussion will take place at a meeting sometime in September. 

Thanks also to last month’s sponsors including: United Way, Alpha, City of Goleta, UCSB Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER), California Urban Forest Council, UCSB Coastal Fund, Goleta Union School District, California ReLeaf, Santa Barbara County Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division, 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.   

GVB Statement Concerning News Press Articles about Former Volunteer Coordinator

On July 14 and July 21, the Santa Barbara News-Press ran articles about Scott Bull, who was GVB’s volunteer coordinator for over 6 years, until November 2012.  GVB was mentioned in the newspaper articles in a way that might mislead some readers.  The facts are set forth below.

Scott was the subject of a “Whistleblower’s Report” prepared by UCSB’s audit unit, in which he was found to have had a conflict of interest under University of California policies.  Scott’s job was as an advisor to the UCSB Associated Students, including the Associated Students’ Coastal Fund, but he did not disclose his relationships with GVB and other organizations as required by University policies.  Scott resigned from University employment in February 2013

Role of Volunteer Coordinator.  Scott’s role as volunteer coordinator was to recruit a sufficient number of volunteers to be present at GVB project sites on 25 to 30 Saturdays throughout the year.  Scott did this important task well, including enlisting participation by large numbers of volunteers from over 65 different UCSB student organizations.  GVB paid Scott approximately $3,000 per year for the volunteer coordinator services that he provided.

During the period that Scott was volunteer coordinator, 12,000+ community volunteers (about two-thirds of whom are UCSB students) provided 40,000+ volunteer hours at GVB tree-planting and community beautification projects.   This is 2,000+ volunteers per year at about 30 tree-planting events per year.

GVB planned and organized the projects and supplied all the tools as well as all the materials used by the volunteers, including over 3,000 trees that were planted on publicly-owned land in the Goleta Valley during this period.

Tree-planting is one of GVB’s largest activities – and what the volunteer coordinator works on.  But GVB has many other programs and activities. 

GVB’s Student Internship Program.  Separate from its tree-planting, GVB has a separate program for UCSB interns, which has been partially supported by grants from the Coastal Fund. 

GVB received Coastal Fund grants both before and after Scott was GVB’s volunteer coordinator, as well as during the period that Scott was volunteer coordinator – and recently received a grant that was approved months after Scott left UCSB employment.       

All grant applications by GVB were reviewed and approved by the Coastal Fund’s Board of Directors after a public meeting at which GVB appeared to discuss the application.  It is the Coastal Fund Board of Directors, not Scott, that made the decisions on GVB’s (and every other) grant application.  

On May 23, 2013, the Coastal Fund awarded a $5,900 grant to GVB for the 2013-2014 academic year.  Note that the date of this Coastal Fund grant approval is several months after Scott had left UCSB employment and six months after Scott had ceased being GVB’s volunteer coordinator.    

The reason that GVB has received grants from the Coastal Fund is that GVB’s internship program provides an excellent learning opportunity for UCSB students and the work by UCSB students in the internship directly relates to the Coastal Fund’s environmental mission.

GVB’s Use of Coastal Fund Monies.  All Coastal Fund grants to GVB have been used exclusively for the approved purposes of the grants.  Coastal Fund grant monies were never used by GVB to pay the volunteer coordinator 

As to each grant, GVB has provided financial reports to the Coastal Fund, documenting GVB’s use of the grant monies for the approved purposes.   In recent years, the grants have been used (1) to purchase supplies for use by UCSB students in their internships at GVB’s organic greenhouse operation, and (2) for the modest compensation (up to $300 per quarter) to UCSB students working as paid interns. 

During the period that Scott was volunteer coordinator, GVB secured multiple separate grants from foundations to pay for the cost of the volunteer coordinator.  When grant funding was not available to pay for the volunteer coordinator, unrestricted donations to GVB were used to pay the balance of the cost.  (The cost to GVB of providing training and supervision of the student interns is paid by GVB from unrestricted donations to GVB.)

Conclusion.  GVB cooperated with UCSB’s audit unit in its investigation of Scott Bull, and provided answers to every question and backup documentation.

GVB considers Scott to be a very nice person who was an effective volunteer coordinator, but who also made an unfortunate mistake in failing to discuss with appropriate UCSB authorities his status with GVB in order to assure compliance with University policies. GVB wishes Scott well.

But, as stated above, nothing about Scott’s mistake or the Whistleblower’s Report should tarnish GVB’s reputation.

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