More than 200 volunteers from six member companies participated in the Conservation Alliance’s Backyard Collective stewardship event in Santa Barbara, CA on Thursday, April 12.

The volunteers worked in support of the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to help with open-space debris removal, tree rescue, trail restoration and residential cleanup of a devastated area caused by recent mudslides in Montecito.

Conservation Alliance member companies who participated in the event included: All Good Products, College Outside, Teva and Deckers Brands, Patagonia, REI and Toad&Co. Member companies Clif Bar, Vapur and Deschutes Brewery provided snacks, beer and gear to the event. Local companies Handlebar Coffee Roasters, Jeannine’s Bakery and Panino contributed coffee and lunch.

“Working together on a local project like this one, getting our hands dirty, really brings the mission and purpose of the Conservation Alliance to life for our employees,” said Hans Cole, director of environmental campaigns and advocacy at Patagonia and a Conservation Alliance board director. “All of the companies that participated are deeply committed to protecting and stewarding our public lands, waters and open spaces. And following a devastating fire and mudslide season, this work is a perfect way to give back to the community.”

The mission of the Conservation Alliance is to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values. The Conservation Alliance launched the Backyard Collective Program to give member company employees in the outdoor industry the opportunity to work together on a local stewardship project while learning more about organizations that receive funding from the group.

Conservation Alliance grantees joined in a Grantee Fair during the event to share current information and a call-to-action about their programs. Grantees included: California Wilderness Coalition, Environmental Defense Center, Los Padres ForestWatch and Ventura Land Trust. Local non-profits California Outdoor Recreation Partners and Channel Islands Restoration joined as well.

“It was great to kick-off to our 2018 Backyard Collective season in Santa Barbara, restoring some of the damage caused by this winter’s mudslides,” said John Sterling, executive director of the Conservation Alliance. “Whether funding conservation projects, or coming together to steward the landscapes in their communities, our member companies consistently come together to make a difference.”