Preserve 20

Amanda Redfern, Greening the Athletics Department Intern

I was blessed to have grown up in Santa Barbara, California, where preservation and conservation were historically ingrained into the culture of the land. The Santa Barbara City Council would preserve land that was once owned by the earliest settlers of the area, and they even fought the implementation of Costco into the City. There are Farmer’s markets almost every day throughout the city, and there are festivals that celebrate local artists and restaurants. The preservation of the Gaviota Coast by the Surfrider Foundation is one key example that illustrates the ideals of the city.


The Gaviota Coast is the last 20 miles of undeveloped California land along the Pacific Ocean. The Surfrider Foundation came in to save this last refuge to the beautiful sanctuary that is the Gaviota Coast. They raised awareness and funds to ensure that no developers would come in and take over the land. To the Surfrider Foundation and many of the residents living in Santa Barbara County the Gaviota coast is “a real place [that] commands attention and affection” (pg. 98).

In the book A Conservationist Manifesto, Scott Russell Sanders discusses that even with all the demolition of nature within the United States, there are still pockets of pristine wilderness. These preserved lands are symbols of “real places that keep us mindful of nature, and keep us mindful of history” (pg. 99). I have been lucky to maintain this mindset throughout my college life by moving to Bloomington, Indiana.

Bloomington like Santa Barbara, has a culture of preservation that strives to not only  preserve of the land and nature, but also to preserve of the history that the land holds. Generations of families hand down traditions from the past, like recipes, dances, and stories, to ensure that future generations are able to remember and learn from them. They also preserve plots of land, like Donaldson Woods, Hoosier Prairie, and Loblolly Marsh, so that future generations will be able to walk through them and enjoy pieces of a past that have been saved for the future


4 thoughts on “Preserve 20

  1. I am so jealous and happy to hear that your hometown really strives to preserve its history and environment. I’m sure that growing up there has provided you with a model for work in sustainability in your future!

  2. I believe that it is important now, more than ever, that we push for the preservation of natural spaces, as you have listed above. Your stories about Santa Barbra are inspiring and show that we can make a meaningful impact in our local communities if we have the courage to let our voices be heard.

  3. Preservation is important, but change is sometimes necessary. Awesome things have happened in this town and others to add to the culture! For instance, the b-line trail was an excellent addition to the city. People use it everyday for leisure, exercise, or commuting.

  4. I believe that both preservation and development of land is equally important in our society today. Preservation reminds us of our history, as you said, whereas development shows us where we are headed. I think that some of the best locations have a mix of both preservation and development going on at the same time.

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