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2001 - Lifetime Achievement Award - Sid Patterson

In June, during the U.S. Open golf championship, the whole world became familiar with Sid Patterson’s greatest accomplishment. Remember that frequent camera shot from the 18th green showing a solid canopy of green stretching eight miles to the downtown skyscrapers? No person or organization did more to create that canopy than Sid Patterson and the all-volunteer organization he founded 25 years ago, Up With Trees.

The numbers are mind-boggling – 13,000 trees at 345 sites in every part of Tulsa, with another seven to eight hundred trees added each year. Any Up With Trees volunteer will tell you that Sid Patterson has participated in nearly every one of those plantings.

In 1994, the Tulsa World reported that Sid, a past street commissioner, was famed for presiding over numerous improvements to Tulsa’s expressway system and he was influential in starting the city’s heralded stormwater management program to control flooding. “But,” the newspaper added, “His accomplishments in concrete are rivaled by Up With Trees’ beautification benefits.”

As recently noted by a regional urban forester with the U.S. Forest Service in Atlanta, there are other urban tree-planting groups around the country, but none is better run than Up With Trees. Tulsa's Mayor Susan Savage told us, “Sid Patterson’s name means trees to me. Sid is a dedicated man with a vision, a passion to beautify Tulsa. Along the way, he's pulled friends, families, businesses, the entire community into his plan, leaving a wonderful legacy for generations to come."

Sid has been a member of the Oklahoma Urban and Community Forestry Council since its founding. KOB honored him three years ago with our Individual Achievement Award for Beautification & Landscaping. Sid also has been recognized by the Southern States Urban Forestry Council and has received the National Conservation Award from the Society of the DAR.

A month before he and Beverly celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in November, Sid will be inducted into the Tulsa Historical Society Hall of Fame.

Sid (far right) with a few of his many fans who attended the KOB awards banquet August 3, 2001

He has been described as firmly rooted and unafraid to branch out. But we’ll “leaf” those puns to others. Tonight we are here to place him in the sterling company of Joanne Orr and Pen Woods as only the third person to receive Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s Lifetime Achievement Award because SID PATTERSON IS GOOD NEWS FOR OKLAHOMA’S URBAN FORESTS!