Santa Maria Sun:Sky’s the limit: The Blue Sky Center works to empower the residents of rural Cuyama Valley with creativity and community

Things don’t move too fast in rural communities like New Cuyama, and they especially slow down when the midday sun bears down and the heat hits the high 90s. That is, except for Louie, the pit bull/black lab mix who bounded after a small lizard darting for the safety of the nearest desert shrub on the Blue Sky Center’s land.

Blue Sky’s Development Director Emily Johnson was walking across the nonprofit’s property at a slow but deliberate pace, explaining all the different things that happen there while Louie ambled along. The “high desert” climate in northeast Santa Barbara County’s Cuyama Valley is part of the draw for the tourism aspect of the nonprofit’s mission to empower the valley’s communities, she explained while approaching a row of canvas-roofed huts.

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