Save Our Santa Ysabel Islands
Maybe you’ve driven along Santa Ysabel and admired the drought-tolerant plants as you passed those islands in the middle of the road.  Maybe you wondered who planted them? Who pulls the weeds? How do they get watered?

The six islands along Santa Ysabel have been planted, watered, weeded and maintained by unpaid community volunteers since they were installed ten years ago. 

Here are our island leaders

 Expenses to maintain the islands are small but ongoing.  We pay three neighbors for donating water monthly, we provide mulch, and we replace timer batteries.  $2,000 will cover our expenses for the next four years, including possible replacement of the ten-year old irrigation timers.

 Los Osos Rotary kindly took us under their wing so contributions could be tax deductible.  Over the years we have raised money door-to-door, sent out email requests, and held two huge garage sales.  Now we are asking you to help support our sweet little islands.

A Brief History
Many years ago some of the residents along Santa Ysabel asked the County Public Works Department to implement a beautification and traffic-calming project that residents had designed.  This project proposed to install six traffic islands, three intersections with speed humps, and a ‘meandering’ pathway along Santa Ysabel.  Ten years ago Public Works installed the traffic islands.  However, they were unable to provide ongoing maintenance, so they filled the islands with boulders.  They were hideous and the community was outraged. 

So a small group of volunteers set out to figure a way to plant and maintain the islands.  We contacted homeowners at the six intersections, who agreed to tie into an irrigation line for each island.  Public Works connected lines from each homeowner.  We raised enough money to buy plants and timers.  Ten years ago we planted each island with drought tolerant plants and installed drip irrigation.

Subsequently, County Public Works got a grant to build half of the pathway (between 7th and 11th Streets.)  Last year they installed the three speed humps.  And, indeed, traffic has slowed and the islands look lovely.

Help Keep the Islands Going for Three More Years
You’re probably exhausted from responding to disaster requests and national calamities.  Of course this is not on the level of a hurricane or a wildfire.  But supporting the small things that make our neighborhood special has a profound impact on our sense of self and community. 

How can you help?  Three ways: 
1. Make a donation of any size now.

2. Help spread the word; pass this on to your neighbors and share on social media.

3. Wave, smile, and give a thumbs up when you drive by our volunteers working on their island.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Mimi and Gene Kalland: Island Organizers and 7th Street Island Volunteers
Sarah Halpern:  9th Street Volunteer
John Zweemer & James Perry:
 11th Street Volunteers
Mark & Mary Reents:  13th Street Volunteers
Lorelei Eggli:
 15th Street Volunteer
Susan Chandler & Gardener Bud: 17th St Volunteers
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Marina Michel 
    • $20 
    • 45 mos
  • David Gibbs 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • James Karukas 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Baywood Market 
    • $200 
    • 45 mos
See all


Mimi Kalland 
Los Osos, CA
Rotary Club Of Los Osos Foundation Inc 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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