LEAF Initiative


Landscapes, Ecosystems, Agriculture and Food Systems

The Santa Barbara Foundation is committed to preserving the natural beauty, ecological integrity and productivity of the wild and working lands in Santa Barbara County for generations to come. To that end, the foundation has launched the LEAF Initiative with the goal of strengthening community resiliency by preserving and enhancing the landscapes and systems that sustain nature, human health and our economy.

The LEAF Initiative was developed through a collaborative effort with community members, nonprofit organizations and donors. The initiative seeks to advance regional strategies to increase land conservation, improve ecosystem health, ensure agricultural viability and improve the local food system. Together with community partners, we are supporting the development of science-based tools and approaches for lasting conservation and system improvements in Santa Barbara County.

Click here to stay up to date on news from the LEAF Initiative.


LEAF Special Report

Learn how LEAF advanced its strategies in its first year, early strides for the Food Action Plan, and a blueprint to guide conservation in Santa Barbara County.

Explore the report


SB County Food Action Plan

In Santa Barbara County, we are addressing the challenges that place our health, environment and community at risk. The Food Action Plan is the result of two years of collaboration and partnership, over a thousand hours of volunteer time, and the significant investment of local foundations and donors.

Food Action Plan Executive Summary

Food Action Plan



LEAF Small Grants

LEAF Grants are available to support restoration or conservation projects, and to pilot best practices in agriculture, grazing, fisheries and food systems. Priority in 2017 will be on projects that align with the Santa Barbara Food Action Plan. Grants range: $2,500 to $20,000.

  • Download the LEAF Grant Guidelines
  • Download the LEAF Grant Application
  • Application Deadlines: July 17 and October 2, 2017
  • Award Dates: September and November 2017
  • Contact: Sharyn Main



Current LEAF Projects

We have invested in two countywide efforts as part of the LEAF Initiative – the Conservation Blueprint and the Food Action Plan. These two planning projects will set the stage for greater community dialogue and strategic planning in the county, and will serve as the framework for future focus and projects of LEAF. As part of LEAF, the foundation is also providing small grants to seed restoration and conservation activities, and to pilot best practices for sustainability in agriculture, fisheries and land management.

Conservation Blueprint

Lead Partners: Cachuma Resource Conservation District, The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County
Funding Partners: California Coastal Conservancy, Julie L. Capritto Fund, Jan Campbell Family Fund, James S. Bower Foundation, Peter and Martha Karoff Fund, Erik Gregersen, Jack and Gretchen Norqual Foundation, Hollis Norris Fund, Hutton Parker Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation, Richard L. and Maryan S. Schall Fund, Jack and Judy Stapelmann, Nancy B. Schlosser, Walter O. and Holly J. Thomson Fund
Corporate Donors: Deckers Outdoor Corporation, Mesa Lane Partners

For more information, download the informational flier.


Food Action Plan

Lead Partners: Community Environmental Council, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
Funding Partners: Orfalea Foundation, Santa Barbara Foundation

Funded in part by the California Wellness Foundation, Montecito Bank & Trust, No Kid Hungry, Union Bank, and Anonymous (1).

For more information, go to sbcfoodaction.org.



Learn More

To learn more about LEAF or to help support this effort, please contact Sharyn Main, senior director of community investments, or Jan Campbell, chief philanthropic officer.


The LEAF Initiative is a 1% for the Planet recipient organization.

Santa Barbara Foundation | 1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 963-1873 | info@sbfoundation.org