The first BAEER Fair was held on March 5, 1977, at California State University at Hayward, thanks to the vision and support of Professor Esther Railton. The Fair was so successful and profitable (we cleared $350) that we decided to do it again the next year. The money was donated to Bill Leland of the Harbinger File to modernize his fledgling resource database, which, to this day, serves as the official BAEER Fair exhibitor invitation list. At times in the BAEER’s history the planning committee has discussed incorporation to become a fiscal entity, but we always decided to remain associated with an established environmental organization. For many years that support came from the Environmental Forum, an EE networking organization operated by Professor Bill Hammerman of California State University at San Francisco. From 1992 to 2006 the books were kept by the Greenbelt Alliance in San Francisco. In 2006 the BAEER migrated to the East Bay where it is a special project of the Lawrence Hall of Science.

A major turning point in the growth of the BAEER Fair came in 1985 when the planning committee hired a permanent coordinator. Ken Hanley has served in that capacity and guided the fair by managing the multitudes of details, schedules, volunteers, securing the funding, and working with the committee to keep the BAEER Fair fresh and creative. The real success of the BAEER Fair over the decades is attributable to the hundreds of agency representatives, workshop presenters, and educators who brought excitement and imagination to each Fair.

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