SB Botanic Garden’s Valentine: February 14 Reopening of Historic Campbell Bridge

Posted on Feb 13 by SEASONS Magazine

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden (SBBG) will re-open its historic Campbell Bridge in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and “Community Crossing” on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14 at 10:30 a.m. Just four years ago, the 2009 Jesusita Fire‘s flames tore through Mission Canyon and scorched the majority of SBBG’s 78 acres, completely demolishing the garden’s historic Campbell Bridge. Thanks to community support, Campbell Bridge is being rebuilt.

SBBG invites community members to celebrate the bridge’s reconstruction on Valentine’s Day as an act of the Garden’s deep gratitude for the community’s efforts in resurrecting this iconic bridge. And, in keeping with the holiday of love, the event is the Garden’s “Valentine” to the community.

The reconstruction of Campbell Bridge,

The reconstruction of Campbell Bridge, photo courtesy of

Originally constructed in 1941 as a gift from Ina Therese Campbell, the bridge plays an important role within the garden, connecting the two sides of Mission Creek and enabling the community to enjoy the serenity and expansiveness of the Garden. And the community certainly gave back! More than 400 individual donations totaling $81,353 enabled the reconstruction of such a wonderfully historic and integral part of the Garden.

“We are so pleased to welcome the public to this celebration,” says Dr. Steve Windhager, SBBG’s executive director. “Rebuilding the bridge has truly been a community effort, and we are very grateful for their support. Not only does the rebuilding of this structure provide an easier way for our visitors to explore the west side of our grounds across Mission Creek, it provides our staff with vital access to our living displays to the gardens in that area.”

The new Campbell Bridge, built by contractor Peter Lapidus, incorporates the original elements of the first bridge while implementing current safety standards and using sturdier materials. Lapidus added a little bit of heartfelt flavor as well, since he has personal ties to the Garden. His grandfather, Campbell Grant, was a trustee and later board president for the Garden. Lapidus has several other family members who contributed to the growth and maintenance of this beautiful garden.

SBBG is a pronounced community space that celebrates the collective efforts of its visitors; Lapidus and his extended family is only a representative example of such commitment and love toward the Garden.

For more information on all that the Garden has to offer, please click here.

-Grace Piro Delia


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