February 2014 Newsletter

Trees for Veterans Program Ends With High Demand


           Dorothy Struhar                        Edmund Page                                            Daniel Ruano                                        Phil Conley


The Trees for Vets Program, sponsored by The Home Depot Foundation, recently concluded with a strong demand for shade and fruit trees for our honored Vets.  A last minute rush depleted our available stock of fruit trees.  We have a waiting list of those who contacted us too late to take advantage of this program.  We are actively seeking to resume providing a free fruit or shade tree to any Vet requesting it if we can find a sponsor.


We were touched by some of the comments we received, and mostly Vets were appreciative that their work was noticed. 



         Barbara Walsh                                          Mary Walsh                                      George Ducott



                Ron Willer                                             Steve Clester                                        Steve Watson

Volunteer Events-Check for February events and updates


              San Marcos HS                                          Kellogg Elementary                       Cabrillo Growing Grounds

Tree Planting and Care - In January we pruned trees at San Marcos, replaced a tree mysteriously cut down at Kellogg School, and planted sycamores along the UCSB lagoon with our biggest crowd of volunteers (62) this year.  Special thanks to Los Prietos Boys Camp for continuing to help with the move of our Growing Grounds, tree inventories, new facility construction and general tree care.  In February we’ll be continuing to prune at local elementary schools, and Dos Pueblos High. Come join us, we’ll help you learn how to care for trees according to the latest scientific procedures.


Planting 10 Sycamores at UCSB Lagoon

Science Nights- Monte Vista and Brandon Schools both had about 200 students and parents enthusiastically participate in science discovery projects with our crew of urban foresters.  In February we’ll be at Laguna Blanca, Ellwood and El Camino. 


   Monte vista Elementary                                              Brandon Elementary

GVB Joins San Marcos High Horticultural Program


In January, GVB began working with San Marcos High horticultural students as they learn the scientific process for growing the next generation of trees.  Students have begun setting up growing tables, installing irrigation, and protecting the seeds from being eaten by hungry critters.  We’ll be continuing to meet with SMHS students over the next term.

Phebe Mansur Succeeds David Fainer as President


         Phebe Mansur                              David Fainer                         Jeff Boyle

Vice President Phebe Mansur has succeeded David Fainer as President of Goleta Valley Beautiful.  Long time GVB Board member Jeff Boyle has succeeded Phebe Mansur as Vice President.


David retires from the Presidency after serving for 10 years and overseeing the most intense period of tree planting and care that GVB has ever seen.  Under David’s tutelage, GVB developed the fiscal and administrative capacity to implement increasingly complex projects.  Over the period of 2005 to 2014, GVB planted 3,474 trees, maintained 9,018 with the help of more than 11,117 volunteers providing 32,141+ service hours. David was honored by Cox Communications as one of the top three finalists for Cox Communications Volunteer of the Year in 2012.  We are grateful for David’s many contributions to GVB’s legacy.


Phebe Mansur has served on the GVB Board for the past 10 years, most recently as vice-president.  Phebe owns and operates CopyRight Printing on Hollister Avenue across the street from the Goleta Community Center.  In addition to her long service with Goleta Valley Beautiful, Phebe has been active with a multitude of nonprofit agencies including Goleta Valley Little League, Native Daughters, GV Historical Society, and many more.

Goleta Valley Beautiful News Briefs

Thanks for Christmas Tree Donations – Thanks to those of you who bought a living Christmas Tree (with roots!) and donated it to GVB after the holidays.  That is a very sustainable and tax deductible approach.  We hope to initiate our Christmas tree rental program again next year.

Is the drought over?  - The ¼ inch of rain (Denver tears) we received on 2/2/14 was not enough to consider our drought over.   We have received less than 5 inches of rain, only a quarter of our average total annual rainfall of 17.76 inches.  The prolonged drought is having an impact not only on our recently planted trees, but also our mature and heritage trees.  Normally we don’t recommend watering trees during the rainy season, but if it doesn’t rain an additional   ½” to 1” or more by President’s Day, we recommend giving all your trees, even native Coast Live Oaks,  one good soaking.    Water slowly without runoff all the way around the tree underneath the branches furthest away from the tree so that the ground is moist down to two to three foot deep, but don’t water right next to the trunk.    

GVB welcomes 14 new and returning interns – During January we welcomed and trained the Winter 2014 group of Urban Forest Interns.  In addition to support from GVB donor members, the interns are funded by a grant from the UCSB Coastal Fund.  The Coastal Fund recognizes GVB tree planting efforts that help slow down stormwater allowing it to percolate into the ground, filtering and storing the water so that rainwater eventually reaching the ocean is cleaner.  Also supporting the interns is the County Youth Work Experience Program.


     Amanda Escarzega                  Andrew Little                   Logan Wiebusch               Benson Kuo


       Jordan Colbeth                     Kylie Taylor                       Lucia Nichols                 Yxenia Contreras

City of Goleta, CalTrans and GVB discuss 101 maintenance- We’ll have a report next month on the outcomes of the February 4th meeting to discuss a tri-party tree maintenance agreement

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.

2014 Annual Membership Renewals (Available on line) – A salute to our longtime donor investors

As Goleta Valley beautiful enters its 40th year, we thank our individual donors who have invested in our work year after year.  Below is a list of our current donors who have renewed their membership during January and the year they first started investing in GVB.  Our computerized donor records only go back to 2001, and we know there are a lot of you who have been supporting GVB prior to 2001.  We included Dick Sandow because he is one of the original founders of Goleta Valley Beautiful back in 1974. Only those who have renewed for 2014 in the month of January are included in this list.  


Sandow, R. O.


Kennett, Diana and James

Van Nostrand, Len and Coleen

Connell, Joe and Margaret

Alfano, Lee

Swanson, Lydia

Medbery, Mary

Miller, Michael and Rebecca


Elder, Mimi and John

Bolton, Joan


Boyle, Jeffrey


Griggs, David


Torrey, Marilyn

Maj Gen Philip Conley, Jr

Ruano, Daniel

Our 2014 annual membership renewals have been mailed. If you like what we do, please help support GVB in any amount you can.  If you would rather renew online, please remember that the credit card companies charge a 3% fee.  In light of increasing costs, please consider increasing your support from last year at

Thanks to our sponsors including: Workforce Investment Program, Citrix Online, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, Marborg, Rabobank, Rudy Schulte Family Foundation, Venoco, Michael Towbes, Estate of Al Turnbull, Cox Communications, Edison, Home Depot Foundation, SoCalGas, Mosher Foundation, Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program, Beta Theta Pi, Coastal Fund, California ReLeaf, Alliance for Community Trees, Devereux, Sares-Regis Groups, Pacifica Suites, Alpha, City of Goleta, UCSB Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER), California Urban Forest Council, Goleta Union School District, Santa Barbara Unified School District, Santa Barbara County Resource Recovery and Waste Management Division,  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

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.   

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