How many of us above a certain age
can remember what we were doing on the very first Earth Day in 1970?
For one 11-year-old boy, it was a day that would foreshadow his life,
his career and his passion, because on that day young Michael Patton
was organizing a litter clean-up at Tulsa’s McClure Park. Not just
helping, but organizing it.
the years since then, he has become known around the state as “Recycle
Michael,” although the name barely begins to describe his areas of
accomplishment. Maybe “General Patton” would be more appropriate
because he’s often found in charge of large troops of people waging
environmental battles on many fronts.
When he’s not leading the way in
a volunteer capacity on nearly a dozen organizations dedicated to
improving the quality of life, Michael is at the helm as the executive
director of Tulsa’s Metropolitan Environmental Trust. Under his
leadership for the past 13 years, The MET has grown to operate a dozen
recycling businesses in the metro area, conducts hazardous waste
collections twice a year, and conducts Earth Day activities for the
region. With The MET, Michael has assisted hundreds of
businesses, schools and churches in implementing environmental
He also has been credited with attracting green businesses
to the Tulsa area and for helping to pass numerous green ordinances and
state legislative initiatives.
may be the only person you’ll know who married a Miss America … in this
case, Miss Anna America. Michael and Anna have two children --
daughter Eva and son Braden – and, wouldn’t you know it, Braden is
named after the park near Michael’s boyhood home, Braden Park.
that boyhood, Michael has made an undeniable impact on Oklahoma
recycling programs and environmental education. His knowledge and
creativity are known and respected even outside of Oklahoma. He
continues to be a leading, positive voice in our state’s recent
Now, consider this … Michael Patton
is just now hitting his prime. It makes you wonder what he may have up
his sleeves in the years ahead. Whatever it is, we know it will not
only motivate armies of people, but will also leave an enduring
positive effect on a more sustainable Oklahoma.
Patton, we can’t wait to see what’s in your future, but you’ve already
earned our appreciation, our admiration and the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful
Lifetime Achievement Award for 2008!
Michael, his parents and his wife, Anna America.
Posted on 05/01/2008
by Sonny Wilkinson filed under