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2003 - Nonprofit Organization Award - Beautification & Landscaping - Oklahoma City Beautiful

Beautification & Landscaping (annual budget >$100,000)

A successful 22-year program that allowed volunteers to enhance green spaces throughout Oklahoma City was put in jeopardy this past year when the city's Park's Department suffered a major budget cutback and reduction in staff. In March, Oklahoma City Beautiful received a fifty-thousand dollar grant from Oklahoma City Community Foundation allowing the Adopt-A-Park program to not only survive, but flourish.

Since March, additional volunteers have been secured, existing adoptions have been upgraded, educational resources and seminars have been expanded, and increased public awareness has led more local businesses to become involved. Now, more than 100 Oklahoma City parks, medians, flowerbeds and other areas have about 850 loving volunteers to look after them.

For its ability to turn a lemon into lemonade by enhancing a cornerstone of its community beautification efforts, and for its skill in conveying a sense of proud citizen ownership of the city's parks and medians, OKC Beautiful is good news and a great example for green urban areas in Oklahoma.