Keeping Montecito Beautiful

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 31, 2019
The Beautification Committee has been hard at work planning this year’s 34th annual event, to be held this Saturday, November 2, at the upper village green

Save the date for Montecito Association’s 34th annual Beautification Day, this Saturday, November 2 in the upper village green. Garnering hefty support from the community, the special day of beautifying Montecito is expected to have a large turnout of community volunteers. “It’s the most support we’ve ever seen,” said Montecito Association Executive Director Sharon Byrne. The family friendly event is being organized by co-chairs Mindy Denson, Houghton Hyatt, Kathi King, and Trish Davis, along with their faithful committee. 

The day will begin with a continental breakfast catered by San Ysidro Ranch. After fueling up, participants will clean up several sites in Montecito, including trails, beaches, roads, open spaces, and neighborhoods, while donning their bright green Beautification tee shirts. Volunteers will return to the upper village green around 11:30 am, when there will be a short awards ceremony before lunch (hot dogs and chili) is served by Montecito Firefighters, some of whom are just returning after fighting fires elsewhere in the state. Local school kids from Cold Spring School, Montecito Union, and Our Lady Mount Carmel, have been busy creating their “Resilient is Brilliant” artwork, which is displayed in the upper village shops; the best creations will be given prizes at the event. 

To be honored at the event: The Partnership for Resilient Communities, whose core team includes Pat McElroy, Gwyn Lurie, Joe Cole, Les Firestein, Mary Rose, Ron Pulice, Alixe Mattingly, Brett Matthews, Cathy Cash, and Hollye Jacobs. The non-profit Partnership was successfully formed following the 1/9 debris flow, in an effort to augment resiliency efforts taken on by Santa Barbara County. The group raised over $5 million in order to install six debris flow nets in the canyons above Montecito, effectively mitigating future risk during sustained rainfall. “It was an easy decision on who should receive ‘Citizen of the Year’ honors this year. The Partnership has done such amazing things for this community in the last year,” said Denson. 

This year the upper village green will be filled with more community tables than in years’ past, including a tent demonstration by ShelterBox USA, whose president, Kerri Murray, is based in Santa Barbara. Other community table sponsors include Montecito Rotary, Montecito Library, Montecito Trails, Montecito YMCA, MERRAG, MarBorg, Montecito Water District, Montecito Sanitary, Lotusland, MFPD, Montecito Journal, Montecito Association, Montecito Community Foundation, the Bucket Brigade, the Humane Society, and the Organic Soup Kitchen. 

The Beautification Committee, which includes Denson, Davis, Houghton, Byrne, and Tracy Bryant, Kelly Shiffman, Michael Edwards, Cindy Feinberg, Kelly O’Keefe, Dana Hansen, Nina Terzian, Donna Jolliff, Jean von Wittenburg, Lisa Waldinger, and Patty Zucherman, will once again make their famous homemade chocolate chip cookies to serve. The event beings at 9 am in the upper village green. For more information, visit 


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