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Sustainability
At The Fairgrounds

Our Commitment to Our Community

The Alameda County Fairgrounds is committed to our community with programs to help those in need, make the Fairgrounds accessible to all and by minimizing our impact on the environment. Here is how we are doing our part:

  • Food Drive: Each year during our annual Fair we host a canned food drive that benefits the Alameda County Food Bank which provides food distribution and millions of hot meals to our local communities. They work to provide new approaches to help end hunger and poverty. To learn more and see how you can help, visit here

  • Pet Drive: In addition to the Food Bank we also partner with the Valley Humane Society to gather pet food during our annual Fair. The Valley Humane Society is a local nonprofit organization that aids in rescuing as well as rehabilitating our beloved pets. To learn more and see how you can help, visit here.

  • Coat Drive: We partnered with One Warm Coat during our winter Drive-In Movies series to help raise funds and coats to those in need.

  • Blood Drive: The Alameda County Fair is partnering with the American Red Cross Association. Starting Spring of 2023, there will be a blood drive to encourage our local communities to donate blood, in return they will receive a Fair ticket that is valid for any day of the Fair in June. Did you know that every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood? To learn more about the importance of blood donation, visit here
  • Overall: The Alameda County Fairgrounds has continued to implement sustainable practices that serve as an example of our commitment to the environment. The success achieved at the Alameda County Fairgrounds is due to the close collaboration of multiple players including Oak View Group as well as management, attendees, contractors and promoters. All sustainability programs are an extension of their combined efforts.

  • Solar Panels: The initial installation of solar panels in 2003 allows the Alameda County Fairgrounds to generate nearly a full megawatt of electricity – enough to power 750 homes annually. We worked with Engie North America to install a second phase, as well as update equipment that will allow us to contribute to energy independence and renewable energy.

  • Grounds & Water: 50% water resistant plants, but moving towards 90%, we are also moving to drip tubes, need source contact the water going straight to the plants roots new irrigation, rescape qualifications for regenerative landscaping, right plant for the right zones, Rescape Program going off regenerative landscape, sustainable but aesthetically pleasing, saving the water sheds, creating a habitat, in our Wine Garden we are putting together a render for a monarch butterfly habitat, trying to get natural plants, look at Building M it has Butterfly bushes & plants attract habitat to come to the area then migrate, a lot of before and after of how he is evolving the property not just for aesthetic but for the sustainability.

  • Grounds: Chipped mulch from trees is spread around grounds to help maintain moisture in the ground for flowers and points

  • Grounds: Pallets left over from year round events are re-used in the parking lot to protect young trees from potential damage

  • Well Water: The Alameda County Fairgrounds runs primarily on its own well water. We are self sufficient in having access to our own water source which we run daily numbers on for PFAS, Chlorine and other minerals to ensure it is safe for consumption if need be. This allows us to water our grounds, operate restrooms and be an Emergency center if need be all on our own well without having to tap into City resources. 

  • Water Refill Stations: Alameda County Fairgrounds currently has three water bottle refill stations and 12 water fountains overall reducing single use plastic consumption. 

  • Fertilizer: 9600 tons of horse manure and straw is routed to Monterey Mushrooms, a local mushroom farm that repurposes the manure as fertilizer for their crops.

  • Tree Relocation: A recent project at the Alameda County Fairgrounds was the relocation and transplanting of four of our large walnut trees. Our Grounds Supervisor realized they were not thriving in their original location and partnered with Mighty Tree Movers to relocate them to an area where they can be in the proper environment needed in order to continue to grow! A couple fun facts about walnuts: 

  • Walnuts are the oldest known tree food, with records of their consumption dating back to 7000 BC.

  • Walnuts are mine houses of Vitamins A, B, E and K and are also a rich source of minerals like manganese, magnesium, phosphate and iron.

  • Pleasanton Garbage: Pleasanton Garbage Service is our contracted garbage removal company. They remove our garbage, recyclables and cardboard waste year round, they have their own impressive list of sustainability, click here to see.

  • Hazardous Waste: batteries, lightbulbs, oil, paint, tires and electronic waste are all recycled with appropriate authorities

  • Garbage Green Waste Project: Working towards 75% reduction in garbage waste in 10 years. 

  • Oil (from food vendors converted into energy): Alameda County Fairgrounds works with Interstate Oil, a local company that offers clean, convenient and eco-friendly service of recycling used cooking oil into biodiesel. When converted, billions of waste cooking oil and grease can be diverted from landfills and water pipes.

  • Paper Recycling: We outsource through Shred-It for confidential paper shredding. They are part of a Circular Economy, meaning Shred-It helps businesses achieve some of their sustainability goals without compromising date security, then they use those shredded documents to recycle into other manufacturing paper products. 

  • Lights: as Alameda County Fairgrounds goes through and upgrades grounds and building lights, they are either being replaced with LED or photocell which both help conserve energy. Photocell lights are automated and allow you to set an on/off schedule meaning they don’t run during times they aren’t needed. LED are dimmable, programmable and consume significantly less power than standard bulbs

  • Satellite Parking: ACF supports the carpooling of large companies in the Bay Area including Yahoo, Google and Facebook.

  • Advanced online ticket sales save what percent of paper? Advanced online ticket sales

  • No will call/signage

  • 72% of overall 2022 sales were advanced, which means that all of those sales generated no paper consumption

  • Printing less brochures/information: putting QR’s at gates for attendees to scan if they want access to info but don’t want to use the paper

  • Feed Oakland Zoo Giraffes: Working with Buena Vista Trees, Fairground trees are trimmed and delivered to the Oakland Zoo to feed animals, see story here.

  • Bike Racks: With the rise of local Fair attendees riding their bikes instead of taking a vehicle, we accommodated that need by putting out multiple bike racks at each gate to allow for bikers to safely and securely store their bikes during their visit. This received a great amount of feedback and was appreciated by the community. 

  • The Alameda County Fairgrounds made an organization-wide effort to reduce its overall paper consumption – this includes going digital and cashless for all admission processes. Fair tickets are transferred via email and saved to a mobile device. From 2019 to 2022 we saw a 72% jump in advance sales which were all online – meaning there was no distribution or usage of paper tickets.
  • In addition to reducing paper usage throughout admission processes, we have implemented QR code signage throughout the grounds. The QR codes allow for access to multiple website points as well as digital maps. While redirected you can purchase tickets for multiple on grounds events taking place during Fair and the digital map is an additional resource if you are not near a physical location. The usage of the QR codes allows us to minimize the amount of physical maps and fliers we print, in addition to not having to print physical tickets for additional events.
  • Widget: All Alameda County Fairgrounds websites have an ADA widget (blue circle in the bottom left corner) to help those who need help to read or hear the content access to the information.

  • ADA Grandstand access: wheelchair access ramps are available on both sides of the Grandstand building. Guests using a wheelchair or scooter may enjoy shaded viewing on the seconf floor with the help of an elevator.

  • ADA Guest Parking: available in all Fairground parking lots. 

  • Equipment Rentals: available during the annual summer Fair at all three Admission Gates

  • Amphitheater Access for Concerts:  there is wheelchair/scooter access seating areas with room for fold up chairs familly and friends

  • GOAL: Our catering partner, Oak View Group, is committed to responsible, progressive sustained actions in the fight against climate change – They have formed GOAL (Green Operations and Advanced Leadership). This is no small task, and every action will make a difference.

  • Carbon Footprint: As of now – we are running out our current inventory of plastic cup ware – with the intent of moving over to sustainable products that are 100% recyclable by 2023. Our pledge is to reduce the Carbon Footprint, this includes programming to eliminate printed materials – including the logos and messages on cups, printed liners for food baskets, and eliminating business cards as we know them.

  • Sustainable Products: Our new inventory will include plain white recycled cups, plates, napkins – we will continue to utilize other sustainable products – e.g., bamboo plates & utensils, business cards will be QR Codes on cell phones. We are going to broaden our waste management programming to collect wet waste products from our permanent venues (California Grill, Baja Grill & Catering Events).

  • As we move forward with advanced planning for a new Main Kitchen –  our goal is to create zero fossil fuel consumption in this arena of daily use by taking the following action: all mechanical systems, heating & cooling, dehumidification and cooking systems will be converted to electric power, combined with supplemental renewable energy (solar panels) to operate more sustainably.

  • Teamwork: Oak View Group looks forward to working with the Alameda County Fairgrounds on these programs – the health of the planet depends on it.

  • The Scope: The Alameda County Fair Foundation is funding to build a working exhibition farm in the heart of the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The Farm will provide schools across Alameda County (and beyond) with a field trip destination to engage, educate and motivate students by offering hands-on experience with crops, livestock and agriculture ecosystems.

  • The Goal: The Farm will showcase the latest in agriculture technology and sustainable farming. Students will be able to watch demonstrations on energy & water consumption, pollinator encouragement and modern animal husbandry. Our hope is to encourage nutrition with a focus on where food comes from and how to prepare it in a nourishing, healthful way.

  • Teach: We look forward to offering new opportunities for learning, volunteering and sharing expertise within the community. The Alameda County Fairgrounds has dedicated over 2 acres of land to The Farm and is actively campaigning to raise the funds needed to build. Grants, industry partnerships and in-kind donations will be the key to the construction of this amazing facility.

  • To learn more, follow progress or make a donation, click here.