Last Saturday, I drove down to the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael to attend the annual BAEER Fair and see how many of the original planning committee were still active in organizing an event that had its origin 35 years ago. Currently, the BAEER Fair is a special project of the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, in Berkeley. But first; what is a BAEER Fair?

BAEER = Bay Area Environmental Education Resources. The purpose of the annual Fair has always been to provide a networking event that promotes environmental education and the various program resources available to teachers, as well as the general public.

The reason why I’m reporting on the BAEER Fair in this blog is due to the fact that “yours truly” played a role helping the Fair get established as an annual event in its early years. Following a U.S. Forest Service EE Conference in Squaw Valley during the summer of 1976, a few participants from the Bay Area agreed that it might be a good idea to put on an EE show in the Bay Area. Consequently, Dr. Esther Railton, EE professor at Hayward State University arranged for a fair to be hosted on her campus.

The initial BAEER Fair , March 5, 1977, attracted 425 people, plus another 150 people who conducted 65 workshops and staffed 70 exhibit booths. Due to this success, it was decided to continue the event and move it around the Bay Area to various locations. Subsequently, it was held at Merritt College in Oakland, Santa Clara Fair Grounds, and Treasure Island (three years), before becoming institutionalized as a mid-winter event in Marin County, where it has been held at the Marin Center for 27 years.

The Fair is basically a volunteer operations. The planning committee thought it best to work cooperatively with an established EE group rather than form its own non-profit organization. For many years, this support came from the Environmental Forum, an EE networking organization initiated by Bill Hammerman, a professor at San Francisco State University. As time went on, other organizations helped the cause. A permanent coordinator (Ken Hanley) was hired in 1985 to manage and coordinate the volunteers still needed to sponsor future fairs. Among the those original volunteers and people I enjoyed mingling with once again this year were: Linda De Lucchi and Larry Malone, Juliana Ver Steeg, Don Bielefield, Bob Flasher, and Esthter Railton.

Maybe I’ll see some of our Petaluma readers at next year’s BAEER Fair. Here’s a copy of this year’s program: What is the BAEER Fair?

Last Saturday, I drove down to the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael to attend the annual BAEER Fair and see how many of the original planning committee were still active in organizing an event that had its origin 35 years ago. Currently, the BAEER Fair is a special project of the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, in Berkeley. But first; what is a BAEER Fair?

BAEER = Bay Area Environmental Education Resources. The purpose of the annual Fair has always been to provide a networking event that promotes environmental education and the various program resources available to teachers, as well as the general public.

The reason why I’m reporting on the BAEER Fair in this blog is due to the fact that “yours truly” played a role helping the Fair get established as an annual event in its early years. Following a U.S. Forest Service EE Conference in Squaw Valley during the summer of 1976, a few participants from the Bay Area agreed that it might be a good idea to put on an EE show in the Bay Area. Consequently, Dr. Esther Railton, EE professor at Hayward State University arranged for a fair to be hosted on her campus.

The initial BAEER Fair , March 5, 1977, attracted 425 people, plus another 150 people who conducted 65 workshops and staffed 70 exhibit booths. Due to this success, it was decided to continue the event and move it around the Bay Area to various locations. Subsequently, it was held at Merritt College in Oakland, Santa Clara Fair Grounds, and Treasure Island (three years), before becoming institutionalized as a mid-winter event in Marin County, where it has been held at the Marin Center for 27 years.

The Fair is basically a volunteer operations. The planning committee thought it best to work cooperatively with an established EE group rather than form its own non-profit organization. For many years, this support came from the Environmental Forum, an EE networking organization initiated by Bill Hammerman, a professor at San Francisco State University. As time went on, other organizations helped the cause. A permanent coordinator (Ken Hanley) was hired in 1985 to manage and coordinate the volunteers still needed to sponsor future fairs. Among the those original volunteers and people I enjoyed mingling with once again this year were: Linda De Lucchi and Larry Malone, Juliana Ver Steeg, Don Bielefield, Bob Flasher, and Esthter Railton.

Maybe I’ll see some of our Petaluma readers at next year’s BAEER Fair. Here’s a copy of this year’s program: http://baeerfair.org/docs_pdf/BAEER%20%2035%20Program.pdf