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2008 - Lifetime Achievement Award Winner - Michael Patton

     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.
     In 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 practices. 
     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. 
     Michael 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. 

     Since 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 environmental movement.
     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. 
     Michael 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.