The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is rebuilding the Campbell Bridge over Mission Creek, a bridge that was lost in the Jesusita Fire of 2009 and for which more than 400 individuals have already contributed $80,465 of the goal needed to reconstruct the bridge.
We will rebuild the Campbell Bridge, recapturing the look of the original bridge from 1941. The base will be of steel covered by rough lumber to give the span the structure and longevity while restoring the historic look of the original bridge. The County of Santa Barbara requires an additional 20% of project costs be spent on handicap accessibility upgrades somewhere on the property. We will convert half of the men's side of our public restroom into a handicap accessible family restroom, an improvement that is long overdue. This additional 20% came as a surprise. We were under the impression that because this project is a rebuild, we would not be subject to this requirement, however, in pursuing building permits, we were informed the requirement would not be waived. Rather than change the goalpost for those who have helped raise the first $80,000, we are seeking project funding from foundations for the balance.
The bridge is a key circulation route. Without it, visitors walk a meandering switchback path or take steep uneven steps down to the canyon. To leave the canyon, they return the way they came or proceed to the bottom of the creek and cross on uneven boulders. Visitors who arrive at the boulders and are doubtful they can cross them, must retrace their steps along a route that is long and now all uphill. The bridge, located halfway between the two options, provided a welcome alternative especially for visitors in wheel chairs, with strollers, or who are older and having less energy and in need of a better option to access the canyon. In the past month three individuals have fallen in separate incidences while trying to cross the creek, each of them sustaining injuries requiring medical attention. While this spike in falls is unusual, it further highlights how welcome having the bridge will be for many visitors.
This is the third year since the Garden has been without this key circulation route. Having it back will re-open a section of the Garden leading to the bridge, something our docents and volunteers care so much about, that they themselves were key in raising the first $80,000 for this project.
Total project cost: $101,525. Total raised to date: $86,375. Balance needed: $15,150