Set in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, the Sedgwick Reserve is a hub used extensively for research, arts, and education programs by local and global institutions. The Sedgwick Reserve contains much of the watershed of Figueroa Creek, from rolling oak savannah, to native grassland, to the gray pine forest extending into the Los Padres National Forest to the north. The Sedgwick Reserve lies between the former two largest Chumash villages in the Santa Ynez Valley: Soxtonokmu and Kalawashaq’. In 1822, Spanish missionaries forcefully removed the Santa Ynez Valley Chumash from their villages and for the next 150 years, the area now known as Sedgwick Reserve was the headquarters of Rancho la Laguna.
In 1952, artist Francis “Duke” Sedgwick and his wife, Alice de Forest Sedgwick bought the ranch. Soon after, Duke invited fellow artists to join him at the scenic ranch, beginning a legacy of art and education that continues today. Mr. Sedgwick donated a controlling interest in 5,114 acres of the ranch to UC Santa Barbara in 1967 with the intent of leaving the entire property to UCSB after both their passing. However, by the early 1990s, the remaining heirs and UCSB were considering selling the land. With a coalition of research scientists, artists and preservationists, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County led a successful “Save the Sedgwick” campaign, raising $3.2 million from local, state and foundation grants, and donations to help purchase and protect the land forever. Sedgwick is part of the UC Natural Reserve System (NRS) and 200 acres remain in active agriculture.