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Creek…in four different places,” she confides. Patti grew up building her own little dams in its crisp, cool waters, swimming and splashing among the slick rocks. Inspired by the magic of its life-giving waters, Patti founded the nonprofit Creekspirit Wildlife Foundation in 2003 as a way to promote wildlife conservation in California and the West. For Patti, the creek has a special significance in her life. “I’ve always considered it as my retreat and spiritual home,” she says. Chumash Indians built the historic dam along Mission Creek in 1806 to 1807 to channel water to Mission Santa Barbara, and during her walks through the garden in 2017, Patti often paused here to reflect about the changes she witnessed. February 28, 2017 : “The creek has been magi- cal,” Patti wrote in her journal. “The rain has been so needed, it’s like a rebirth of Mother Earth.” Rare plants and critters emerged from the freshly soaked soil, including something sur- prising deep in the belly of the creek. The Cali- fornia Department of Fish and Wildlife found three steelhead here, just below the dam. “Many decades ago, large numbers of these beautiful fish lived in Mission Creek all year long…” Patti says. “Sadly, today there are so many obstacles through the creek, including its lack of summer water, that steelhead are very rare.” Back in the early 1920s, when steelhead swam freely through all these waterways, and before the gardens were established, Montecito resident Anna 54 Montecito Magazine Spring–Summer 2018 Above – Dragonfly , woodblock print. Dragonflies hover and flitter around the Pacific Coast iris, a native plant that can grow under oak trees. Top – Mallard duck , woodblock print. Mallard ducks return to Mission Creek every spring to mate. Artwork © Patti Jacquemain Artwork © Patti Jacquemain

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