Arroyo Burro Open Space Restoration
In February 2016, the Creeks Division collaborated with the Trust for Public Land to acquire the former Veronica Meadows development site. Acquisition of this 14.7-acre parcel along Arroyo Burro created a new open space park and opportunity for extensive creek restoration efforts.
Funding for the $4 million purchase was made possible with City Council approval of $2.7 million in Measure B (Creeks Division) funds, and $1.3 million in grant funding from the California Natural Resources Agency's Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program ($500,000), State Coastal Conservancy ($500,000), and Santa Barbara County's Coastal Resources Enhancement Fund ($300,000).
Phase I Restoration
The first phase of restoration at the Arroyo Burro Open Space, completed in 2018, was designed to improve creek water quality and habitat conditions through the restoration of floodplain habitat, removal of non-native vegetation, and stabilization of eroding creek banks.
Portions of the creek banks were re-graded to create floodplain habitat, reduce stream bank erosion, and improve riparian habitat for native species. Over 7,500 locally sourced native plants were installed to re-vegetate disturbed areas and to improve habitat diversity along this portion of Arroyo Burro.
Funding for Phase I of the restoration was generously supported by the California Coastal Conservancy and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Phase II Restoration and Trail Improvement Project
The second phase of restoration at the Arroyo Burro Open Space was completed in 2022. Project elements included restoration improvements along Arroyo Burro and the Campanil drainage (a tributary to Arroyo Burro), the creation of formal trail routes, and the installation of a pedestrian bridge over the creek that connects park visitors to the Las Positas and Modoc Roads Multiuse Path.
The project included the planting of over 2,600 native container plants, including 350 native trees and additional arroyo willow stakes. The restoration of this important habitat benefits wildlife species and improves park aesthetics and access for public enjoyment.
Funding for Phase II included a grant from the County of Santa Barbara’s Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund.