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Environmental stewardship on display during Sustainability Coalition Fair & Townhall

Community members stop by the Benton County table at the Sustainability Fair and speak with Community Development's Solid Waste Coordinator Bailey Payne.

Benton County had the opportunity to showcase the part it plays in the betterment of the region during a recent local gathering. The Oregon State Alumni Center was a busy place on March 7 as an estimated 1,000 persons attended the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s annual Fair and Town Hall. 

The impact of our day-to-day actions on the environment and how each of us can promote its sustainability was the focus of the event. Benton County along with the county’s Soil and Water District, and many others participated to highlight important sustainability efforts. 

“As a community and as a nation our choices are dramatically changing the climate and biodiversity, both of which threaten the ecosystem on which our lives depend,” said Sustainability Coalition Co-Founder Annette Mills. “We live at a critical moment. We are in the midst of a great transition and each of us has the power to influence this transition through the daily choices we make through our work together.”

The evening kicked off with the annual Sustainability Fair, featuring hands-on exhibits. Fair Coordinator Donna Tarasawa said she thought the event went very well with an amazing turnout from the community. Attendees visited 54 booths with exhibitors sharing their sustainability work for the better in the community. 

“Such a wonderful group of people! They provided interesting interactions at their booths to engage people and help them understand more about being sustainable and making a lighter footprint on the planet,” said Tarasawa. 

The County’s booth was a popular spot where some attendees inquired about the Benton County Sustainable Materials Management Plan that will guide waste prevention and recovery efforts for years. 

“We’re dreaming big and are looking at the overall impact that products have when manufactured, transported, used and eventually discarded,” said Bailey Payne, Benton County Solid Waste Program Coordinator. “We’re striving to think holistically about the lifecycle of things. It’s an exciting time to be in this position.”

Children in attendance were also treated to activities like the County’s Stormwater Coloring and Puzzle activity book. 

The Benton County Soil and Water District promoted sustainable land management practices, soil health, native plants, pollinators, and keeping water resources clean with a hands-on demonstration distinguishing between clay, sand, and rich, organic loam soil. 

Following the Fair, activities shifted to the Alumni’s Center’s ballroom for the Town Hall portion of the evening. Three keynote speakers addressed the theme: “The Arts: A Portal to Sustainability.” 

The Town Hall also included the annual Community Scrapbook, a slide presentation highlighting the sustainability achievements of local organizations and businesses during the past year – actions that are moving our community toward environmental quality, social equity, and economic vitality.

The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition is a network of more than 350 partner organizations and hundreds of individual volunteers. Partner organizations include businesses, non-profits, faith communities, educational institutions, and government entities. The mission of the group is to promote an ecologically, socially, and economically healthy city and county. The Coalition’s action teams work on projects in 12 topic areas: Community Inclusion, Economic Vitality, Education, Energy, Food, Health and Human Services, Housing, Land Use, Natural Areas, Transportation, Waste Prevention, and Water.

Three female Sustainability Fair hosts pose for a picture.
Commissioner Augerot stands in front of Benton County's table at the 2024 Sustainability Fair.
Community members check out the tables at the 2024 Sustainability Fair.

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Benton County is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring and employment practices. This document is available in alternative formats and languages upon request. Please call Cory Grogan at 541-745-4468 or email

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