The Santa Barbara County Regional Climate Collaborative (Collaborative) is pleased to announce three sites selected to participate in the Resilience Hubs program. A resilience hub is a community-serving facility that can coordinate resource distribution and services before, during and/or after a natural hazard event. After a competitive application and review process, three sites were selected:
- Blue Sky Center is a large post-industrial property, including seven buildings on 267 acres, built in 1950 by Richfield Oil Company (now ARCO) in New Cuyama. Blue Sky provides cultural activities and economic development opportunities to the community in addition to mobilizing resources during COVID and other emergencies. The site has existing solar, which covers a small portion of its electricity use. “We at Blue Sky Center are honored to participate in the pilot Resilience Hub Project. The Cuyama Valley faces many climate-affected hazards that we as a Cuyama community are actively working together to identify, assess, and mitigate; the Resilience Hub concept planning project will provide resources and expertise to support Cuyama’s community-led work,” says Jack Forinash, Blue Sky Center Executive Director.
- Franklin Neighborhood Center and Eastside Library in Santa Barbara houses leased space for a medical clinic, commercial kitchen, multi-purpose meeting rooms and teen programs, digital access, and literacy and education support resources. The library has existing solar (meeting approximately 60% of the facility’s energy needs) and has several planned electric vehicle chargers. Both sites provide critical services to the Eastside community during emergencies. “Resilience Hubs are a central component of ensuring that our community has the critical resources, security, and information it needs during disasters to weather and recover from even the greatest adversity. By participating in this pilot, we will ensure that we are designing these assets to be able to serve our entire community when it needs it the most,” says Alelia Parenteau, Acting Director of the City of Santa Barbara Sustainability & Resilience Department.
- Girls Inc. of Carpinteria provides year-round programming for girls and their families at its facility, which includes classrooms, a STEM lab, library, conference room, gymnasium, kitchen, offices and outdoor spaces. Girls Inc. recently opened a 24/7 community food pantry, a clothing closet for women and girls and now offers mental health services. “We are proud to participate in the Resilience Hubs program, ensuring that we are prepared with all the resources to respond to our community’s needs amid an emergency or natural disaster,” said Jamie Collins, executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “Our mission and the work we do each day at Girls Inc. embodies resilience – and this pilot program enables us to further our commitment to serving local girls, families and the community by serving as a space for preparedness, response and recovery.”
“Each site and organization have a unique context with strengths and opportunities,” says Erin Maker, Environmental Manager for the City of Carpinteria and Steering Committee Chair of the Collaborative, “We’re thrilled to find out what we can learn from the experience of supporting these community institutions in enhancing their resilience.”
The Resilience Hubs program will provide site hosts a technical site audit and recommendations to implement energy resilience improvements, support to engage the public and develop inclusive decision-making processes for the future hub, and up to $15,000 to offset the costs of participation. Funding for the program comes from a $200,000 grant from the California Resilience Challenge and a $25,000 grant from PG&E.
To learn more about the program and the sites and sign up for updates, visit the Resources section at www.countyofsb.org/collaborative.
About the Santa Barbara County Regional Climate Collaborative
The Collaborative is a growing multi-sector network of organizations working together to advance climate mitigation and resiliency efforts in Santa Barbara County. The Collaborative advances regional-scale climate solutions through coordination and partnership. The County of Santa Barbara launched the Collaborative with funding from the Board of Supervisors and currently serves as the fiscal sponsor. To learn more, visit www.countyofsb.org/collaborative.
For information about Santa Barbara County government, go to www.CountyofSB.org.