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Del Mar Fairgrounds: Environmental Advocacy

Recycling, Solar Power,
River Restoration

The Del Mar Fairgrounds is dedicated to the environment in which we live and work. The 22nd District Agricultural Association's mission statement confirms our emphasis on managing the facility in an environmentally conscientious manner, and our long-term lessees, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Premier/ASM Global, work with us to reduce our waste on a year-round basis. For a list of our Environmental Issues and reports, see our Environmental Issues page.

Recycling, Water Conservation and Energy Efficiency Efforts

The 22nd DAA Board of Directors, which governs the Del Mar Fairgrounds, adopted a Resource Conservation Program in 1990 which in part banned the use of polystyrene foam products from use by food vendors on the grounds. In 2007, the Board adopted an "Environmentally Preferable Purchases and Practices Policy" which includes the commitment to buy recycled content products and instructed staff to work toward a goal of "Zero Waste."

The 22nd DAA began an office paper recycling program in 1985. Over the years the recycling program has grown to 28 materials diverted from the landfill annually. In 2015 the Fairgrounds participated in the communities' Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) Program, and recycled or sent to compost 91 percent of the solid waste stream with the help of management, staff, contractors, lessees and guests.

This puts the Fairgrounds well above the waste reduction requirements of AB 75 that requires State Agencies to divert 75 percent of their solid waste by the year 2020. The recycling program saved $1.2 million in 2015 alone, of which $802,814 is contributed by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's conservation efforts. Another major contributor in this program is Premier/ASM Global, the Fairgrounds' year-round food and beverage company. It is truly a team effort.

Among its environmental activities and accomplishments, the 22nd DAA:

The 22nd DAA staff sees the Resource Conservation Program as one that will continue to evolve as new technologies develop.

We appreciate our visitors' efforts to help us reduce the waste going to landfills by recycling clean paper, cans and bottles in the recycling containers provided throughout the Fairgrounds. Please feel free to bring your own reusable bag to shop with, too.

For more information contact Nancy Strauss, Resource Conservation Coordinator, (858) 792-4298.

Solar Powered

In 2003 the Fairgrounds embarked on a solar-power program to reduce its dependence on traditional sources of energy.

The Fairgrounds has a one-megawatt system, with 9,700 individual panels installed on the roofs of 11 barns. The estimated cost of the system and installation was $4.8 million.

The one-megawatt system produces around 1.2 million kWh per year (14.29-percent of our total usage not including Horsepark or Surf N Turf) and saves the Fairgrounds an estimated $171,460. By comparison, the average consumption allowed for a home in San Diego is 6,000 KWh per year. Our system could supply 200 homes all their power needs for one year.

River Valley Restoration

The Fairgrounds sits at the mouth of the San Dieguito River, which stretches more than 50 miles from its source near Julian. Along the river is the San Dieguito River Park, of which the main feature is the creation of a 55-mile hiking trail called the Coast to Crest Trail.

The trail begins on Fairgrounds property south of Jimmy Durante Boulevard. The Del Mar Fairgrounds is also working with the San Dieguito River Park to continue the trail through the Horsepark property as well. The Coast to Crest Trail is the jewel of San Diego County for hikers of all ages and the Del Mar Fairgrounds is proud to be involved with this project.

The Fairgrounds assisted the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy by restoring 1.15 acres along the north side of the San Dieguito River. The project goal was to eliminate and replace all non-native plants with native species. Volunteers carried out most of the work, with assistance from the Fairgrounds for heavy equipment needs. In addition, the Fairgrounds is diligently working with resource agencies on plans to restore approximately three acres of salt marsh in the area adjacent to the SDRVC's restoration. The Fairgrounds anticipates beginning the restoration work sometime in 2011.

For more information on the project, please see the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy Web site,, or the San Dieguito River Park Web site,

Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014

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