Green Sports Day: Sonoma Raceway

Green Sports Day: Sonoma Raceway
August 4, 2018
Posted by:
Kelley Martin

Sonoma Raceway and Humboldt Redwood Company Partner to Create Sustainable and Fan-Favorite Seating AreasSonoma Raceway’s sustainability efforts have kept the wine-country facility at the front of the pack among its motorsports entertainment facilities peers. The Northern California facility is dedicated to recycling, upcycling, solar energy and mowing green with more than 3,000 sheep that help with land maintenance throughout the property, but the raceway’s most visible sustainability effort delivers shade and comfort for fans on race day.In 2015, Sonoma Raceway and Humboldt Redwood Company, the leader in Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C005200) certified redwood timbers, decking, landscaping and dimensional products, joined forces to bring shade and comfort to race fans with the construction of the “Real. Strong. Humboldt Redwood Deck” above Turn 2, plus two redwood-arbor covered seating areas above Turn 2 and Turn 9.Through its partnership with Humboldt Redwood Company, Sonoma Raceway fans can enjoy the on-track action or take a break in the shade during its summer major events including the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale.


“I bought the redwood deck passes,” IndyCar fan Fadia Desmond writes. “So worth it! I would have paid more for it, it was that great!”Herman Norman couldn’t agree more, “My seats were in the Redwood Deck area as I chose those for views after a recommendation from the ticket office. What excellent service!”Like Sonoma Raceway, Humboldt Redwood Company is based in Northern California and its stated purpose has been to demonstrate that it is possible to manage productive forestlands with a high standard of environmental stewardship, and also operate a successful business. The company owns and manages approximately 440,000 acres of redwood and Douglas-fir forestlands along the north coast of California.The redwood featured at the Sonoma Raceway adds to the event experience by showcasing it in a locally-sourced, sustainably-grown redwood shade structure.“We had tickets to the Humboldt Redwood Deck and loved it,” added race fan Claire Pruett. “We will buy tickets there next year. Thanks for building such a comfortable spot to watch the race!”


Redwood was a natural choice of material for the Sonoma Raceway shade structures. Grown right up the highway from the Raceway, the team realized this was an accessible choice that fit the Raceway's sustainability goals. In addition to its natural beauty, redwood lumber has long been known as naturally strong and durable, insect and decay resistant, and structurally stable.There is science to support these claims. A life-cycle assessment study (a scientific technique that helps quantify the environmental footprint of producing and consuming products we use in our everyday life) showed that redwood is one of the most environmentally responsible building materials available.Redwood uses nothing more than the energy from the sun and rain to grow, is recyclable, and cleaner to produce than composites or plastics. Plus, advanced milling processes minimize waste as well, collecting sawdust and bark that are used to produce clean energy or recycled into downstream products such as soil amendments and landscape materials. The Humboldt Redwood Company sawmill also uses this biomass energy to power operations and return excess electricity to the power grid.Also, redwood trees take carbon out of the air and store it in wood fiber, trapping carbon in perpetuity, which helps reduce emissions and lower its carbon footprint. Even more, at the end of its useful life, redwood is biodegradable, returning to the earth to help grow more trees.


Through adherence to some of the strictest growing and harvesting mandates, as well as a replanting protocol on commercial lands, the Humboldt Redwood Company has plentiful lumber stock for future generations.In addition to its sustainability qualities, redwood lumber is naturally strong and durable, shrinks and swells less than other woods, and is less likely to warp or split. This natural strength, combined with its environmental benefits, makes redwood an ideal choice for any number of landscaping designs, like the Sonoma Raceway shade structure, but also arbors, decks, and planter boxes.