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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.


Conservation Blueprint

A collaboration between the Santa Barbara Foundation's LEAF Initiative, Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and Cachuma Resource Conservation District, the Santa Barbara County Conservation Blueprint is meant to inspire a more informed conversation about the Santa Barbara County landscapes and our shared future.The Blueprint includes an online mapping tool called the Atlas and a written report that focuses on five natural resource themes — Water, Flora and Fauna, Agricultural and Ranch Lands, Climate, and Community and the Land. In addition to showing opportunities and challenges relating to each resource, the report also shows how these resources interact with one another, are impacted by climate change and shape community values.

Conservation Blueprint Executive Summary

Conservation Blueprint Full Report


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 Grants

The Santa Barbara Foundation LEAF (Landscapes, Ecosystems, Agriculture, Food Systems) initiative seeks to increase community resiliency by preserving and enhancing the landscapes and systems that sustain nature, human health and our economy. The LEAF strategy includes development of a countywide Food Action Plan and a Conservation Blueprint. In support of the initiative, the foundation is offering grants to help strengthen the local food system, increase agricultural sustainability, and support land conservation, habitat restoration and ecosystem health. This year, funding priority for LEAF Grants will be for Food System projects that align with the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan.


LEAF Grants: Food Systems

Food Systems grants are to support projects that align with one or more of the 16 goals and related strategies of the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan (SBFAP). The Plan was released last year and project partners Community Environmental Council, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and the LEAF Initiative are working to grow community capacity in order to create positive change in the local food system. Grant awards up to $20,000.

  • Application Deadlines: Will open in the summer.
  • Award Dates: October 2018
  • 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



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.
North County Headquarters:  (805) 346-6123  |   2625 S. Miller Street, Suite 101, Santa Maria, CA 93455
South County Headquarters:  (805) 963-1873  |  1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101