A retro health fad meets modern conservation

By Trust for Public Land
Published September 16, 2015

A retro health fad meets modern conservation

Before anyone hyped kombucha or acai berry smoothies, a simpler drink was all the rage among health nuts: mineral water, drawn from natural springs. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, American companies touted the restorative power of spring water to treat ailments from rheumatism to bronchitis. 

Among them was the Veronica Medicinal Springs Water Company, which bottled near a Santa Barbara creek called Arroyo Burro. Back then, the company shipped mineral water all over the world, helping spread the city’s reputation as a holiday hotspot for rest and recuperation. 

Today, the Veronica Meadows site is one of the last privately owned pieces of developable land in Santa Barbara’s Las Positas Valley—and it’s garnering the attention of more than local history buffs.  

Neighbors have long used the Veronica Meadows site as a de facto public park. It’s a tranquil spot easily accessible to nearby residents, who use the space for hiking, dog-walking—even plein air painting. It’s home to native plants, and because Arroyo Burro is one of the few streams in Santa Barbara to flow year-round, it’s important to wildlife, too. 

So when a developer proposed building a subdivision of luxury homes on the meadows, the community rallied to protect their open space. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the developer’s plan to use city land to build an access bridge over the creek. 

Now, The Trust for Public Land is working with The Friends of Arroyo Burro Creek and other local conservationists to permanently conserve Veronica Meadows. We’ve got just a few months to raise the money we need to buy the land for the City of Santa Barbara.

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