Donor Stories

               Linda Duttenhaver

Linda Duttenhaver

Sedgwick’s 1908 hay barn was in danger of succumbing in the next Valley wind storm, but that was before Linda Duttenhaver saw it as part of a tour of the Reserve she took in 2008. A 1977 UCSB alumna, Linda immediately realized that the barn was desperately in need of a new roof, foundation reinforcements and other repairs.  A longtime admirer of old barns, Linda contributed the funds for the necessary work to allow the structure to withstand another 100 years of inclement weather.

In the process of watching the barn restoration, Linda became a regular Sedgwick visitor.  “The more I learned about Sedgwick, the more excited I became about its potential to teach others about conservation, biology and art.  And I fell in love with the Reserve’s natural beauty and serenity.”

Since the barn was completed, she has also generously supported the educational outreach program that brings visitors, school kids and neighbors to the Reserve to learn about and explore its natural resources.Most recently, Linda and her father, Morton La Kretz, have pledged $6 million to establish the La Kretz Research Center At Sedgwick Reserve to fortify — and further — the reserve’s stature as an invaluable site for ecological inquiry and education.

For more information about Linda and her passion for Sedgwick, visit these news links:



Judy Stapelmann

During her college days at UC Santa Barbara in the 1960s, Judith Stapelmann had a chance, brief meeting with artist and rancher Francis “Duke” Sedgwick, a friend of one of her professors. Decades later, she got her first chance to take a horseback ride around the impressive and massive Sedgwick Ranch in Santa Ynez.

With those memories in mind — and inspired by the property’s sweeping beauty — Stapelmann joined the local fundraising effort that in 1997 helped secure the ranch, in its entirety, for conservation by UCSB and the UC Natural Reserve System. The majority of the land Duke Sedgwick had already bequeathed to the campus.

Fast forward another two decades and Stapelmann, who earned bachelor’s (1963) and master’s (1965) degrees in biology from UCSB, remains a steadfast benefactor of the property now known as Sedgwick Reserve. Her generosity created and funds the Stapelmann Operating Endowment for the reserve, and also includes regular standalone gifts to support the ranch in myriad ways.

  “This is definitely part of my overall interest in protecting open spaces and maintaining rangeland and ranch land, because I think those are important things that we’ll lose if we’re not vigilant,” said Stapelmann, who is a longtime trustee of the UC    Santa Barbara Foundation. “This is part of my whole emphasis in life, I’d say. I’ve been lucky enough to have experiences in  in the wilderness and open country and being able to be out there, it’s good for the soul.”

“The land at Sedgwick is so diverse — the agriculture, the serpentine soils, the endemic species,” she added. “It’s a wonderful place that has so much to offer to the reserve system and to researchers from all over. And I think UCSB is a great place just in general, so I’ve been very glad to be involved in all these ways and as a trustee.”

For more information about Judy and her passion for Sedgwick, visit this news link https://giving.ucsb.edu/Recognition/good-for-the-soul and enjoy this video https://vimeo.com/230044527


You can make a difference at Sedgwick, too. Your support at any level will find a compelling cause, and we look forward to welcoming you into the Sedgwick family of donors whose gifts are having a dramatic impact on the Reserve. Learn more and give online here.