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2009 Environmental Excellence Award Winners

Community Effort Winners

  • Alva Beautification Committee

Accepting for Alva Beautification Committee (L to R): Mayor Arden Chaffee, Yvonne Thilsted & Steven Brown

For bringing together citizens, the City of Alva and the Alva Public School system in a month-long series of clean-up and beautification activities in April 2009. Among the popular activities was a free dumping in Public Works dumpsters and a free curbside appliance pick up. To read more and watch the Alva Beautification Committee Video, click here.

  • Pride In McAlester

Accepting for Pride In McAlester (L to R): Mark Wilkett - Treasuerer, Gwen Titsworth - PR Officer, & J.T. Collier - President
Pride In McAlester generated more than 6,800 volunteers for 2009 spring's clean-up activities and accomplishing some equally astonishing results after just one year of operations. The nearly half-million pounds of materials collected included e-waste, tires, books, furniture and the more traditional recyclables. About two dozen special events kept the people of McAlester involved despite periodic thunderstorms. To watch the Pride In McAlester Video, click here.
  • Tulsa Drillers Downtown Cleanup
Accepting on behalf of the Tulsa Drillers is Michael Patton - Executive Director of The M.e.t.
The Tulsa Drillers lead a true team effort in a day-long  clean-up of several areas of downtown Tulsa, preparing for the baseball team's move to the new OneOK Field next spring. The Tulsa Drillers had just stepped off the bus from a long road trip, but the energy they lent to picking up litter and cleaning up graffiti galvanized concerned citizen volunteers, the Metropolitan Environmental Trust and city workers. To watch the Tulsa Drillers Video, click here.
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Visionary Leadership Winners

  • Ray Ackerman & Former OKC Mayor Ron Norick

 Ray Ackerman

Former Oklahoma City Mayor
Ron Norick

Compare a snapshot of downtown Oklahoma City in the late '80s with on today. Not only are the changes plentiful and stunning, they represent a whole new economic powering the city. Much of this is the result of the vision an tireless leadership of advertising executive Ray Ackerman and 11-year mayor, Ron Norick.

The inspiring transition from an oil bust town to a major league city in all senses of the word would have been almost impossible without the contributions of these tow men - guiding and plowing the way. To watch the Visionary Leadership video and read more, click here.

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  • Keystone Adventure School and Farm

Accepting for Keystone Adventure School & Club (L to R): Fenton Rood, Shanti Rood & Missy Benear
On a regular basis, each of the 60 elementary-aged students cleaned up their campus, collected recyclables, composted manure and lunch wastes, planted and harvested food, and much more. These students raised $1,800 for Burmese refugees to rent a plot of land on which to plant vegetables. For this project, they received, in May, the EPA Region 6 Presidential Youth Award. To watch Keystone Adventure School & Farm's video, click here.

  • OSU's Real Pokes Pass It On

Students at OSU created an ingenious program that not only minimized the waste stream but also benefited local charities. Real Pokes Pass It On collected discarded furniture, clothing and other items at the end of the spring semester, kept them over the summer, and then sold them at low prices to incoming fall semester students. The leftover items and the $1,800 raised benefitted Stillwater Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Goodwill and the March of Dimes. To watch the Real Pokes Pass It On video, click here.
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  • Joe Cox, H.I.S. Paint Manufacturing
    When Joe Cox, the president of H.I.S. Paint Manufacturing in Oklahoma City, approached Keep Oklahoma Beautiful several years ago with a desire to involve his company in some useful way, nobody knew it was going to lead to what has grown into one of the most popular programs in KOB's "community toolbox."

    In just five years, Fresh Paint Days in Oklahoma has resulted not only in new appearances, but also sparked new life and energy in dozens of transformed towns and their volunteers. Along the way, Joe Cox and his paint company have donated some 2,500 gallons of latex exterior paint - worth more the $50,000 - to make a difference in Oklahoma Communities. To read more and watch Joe Cox's video, click here.
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Youth Group Winner

  • Alva 4-H Club

Accepting for the Alva 4-H Club is Terri Owen and two club members.
Through its active participation at various committee and council meetings, Arbor Day activities, and help with Trash-Off among other educations efforts, it's clear that Alva grows not only beautiful trees, but also beautiful leaders of tomorrow. To read more and watch the Alva 4-H Club's video, click here.
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  • Pride in McAlester

Accepting for Pride In McAlester (L to R): Mark Wilkett - Treasurer, Gwen Titsworth - PR Officer and J.T. Collier - President
In its first year, Pride In McAlester organized an amazing 6,800 volunteers who collected 211 tons of trash. Other special projects included a collection of hazardous household wastes and recyclables, repainting of curbs, removal of non-compliant signage, and the planting of 210 trees and 1,300 bulbs. To watch Pride In McAlesters video, click here.
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  • Guaranteed Watt Saver Systems, Inc.

Accepting for Guaranteed Watt Saver Systems, Inc. (L to R):
Kelly Parker - President and
Dana Parker - Vice-President
From its national headquarters in Oklahoma City, GWS has been at the forefront of the green movement for almost a quarter-century. Not only does its staff offer specialized building science services for both new and existing residential and commercial construction, they also helped the EPA develop the Energy Star program. To read more and watch the GWS video, click here.
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  • City of Norman

Accepting for the City of Norman is Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal
As the first city in Oklahoma to sign the national Mayor's Climate Agreement, the CIty of Norman adopted 12 ambitious goals in February to reduce its carbon footprint. Already underway is a new bike parking ordinance, new bus routes, a proposal for a LEED-certified fire station, the use of bio-diesel in the city fleet and many other impressive inititatives. To watch their video, click here.
  • Blue Thumb Water Pollution Education

Accepting for Blue Thumb Water Pollution Education (L to R): Bill DeShazo, Kim Shaw, Cheryl Cheadle & Jean Lemmon
Blue Thumb Water Pollution Education hit a major milestone early this summer, reaching 100 actively monitored stream sites that its volunteers were monitoring for signs or pollution. It also reached about 100 new volunteers through its two-day training sessions dealing with water pollution education. Special exhibits, workshops and a well-attended volunteer conference are among the many tools used by Blue Thumb to make an impact in Oklahoma. To watch Blue Thumb's video, click here.
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  • Pride In McAlester

Accepting for Pride In McAlester (L to R): J.T. Collier - President, Mark Wilkett - Treasurer & Gwen Titsworth - PR Officer
Pride In McAlester got a lot out of its huge corps of 6,800 volunteers, collection 211 tons of trash. Everything from household and car batteries to TV sets, computers, furniture and appliances were gathered up in several special events. Household hazardous wastes were dropped off and a special awards program was conducted. To watch Pride In McAlester's video, click here.
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  • OGE Energy Corp, Sutton Avian Research Center, Atlas Computers and OneNet

 (L to R): Milos Milenkovic (Atlas Computers), Dr. Steve Sherrod (Sutton Avian Research Center), Danny Harris (OGE Energy Corp.), & Kurt Snodgrass (OneNet)

Thanks to the generous help and participation of several different entities, schoolchildren and other Internet users around the world now can observe in real time, life in the nest of a bald eagle. Along with offering an amazing education opportunity, the bald eagle nest camera also provides researchers with a unique opportunity to better understand our national symbol. To read more and watch the Team Builders video, click here.

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  • Marilyn Ihloff Salon & Spa - Tulsa

Accepting for the Marilyn Ihloff Salon & Spa (L to R): April Marrs & Mary Beth Lord
Marilyn Ihloff Salon & Spa in Tulsa for its innovative Refresh Tulsa event benefitting three local green organizations. Refresh Tulsa featured a silent auction, a hair and fashion show, local restaurants and artists, biodegradable tableware, and the opportunity to learn about 20 local green concerns. It has been hailed as an important step forward in calling attention to sustainable living and helping to establish Tulsa as a greener more sustainable city. To watch their video, click here.
  • Mercy Health Center - Oklahoma City

Accepting for Mercy Health Center
(L to R): Dr. John Harkess, Paul Moreillon & Scott Conolly

Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City has established an exhaustive program of green initiatives that have demonstrated sustainabilty really pays in more ways the one. The 3,000 employees of Mercy walked the environmental talk by diverting 345 cubic yards of wasted from landfills in just six months, and saving astounding amounts of water, electricity, oil and trees. Our judges said the variety and depth of the actions taken by Mercy show outstanding environmental commitment. To watch Mercy's video, click here.
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  • The Apacahe Foundation

Accepting for The Apache Foundation is Rob Jonston

2009 marked the first year that Keep Oklahoma Beautiful has recognized a regional company or foundation for its outstanding efforts to uphold the mission of KOB. The newly minted President's Philanthropy Award was given to the Apache Foundation of Houston, TX. With a mission to enhance communities through environmental stewardship, the foundation's 3-yr old Tree Grant program already has delivered and helped communities in 14 states plant more than 1,000,000 seedlings and young trees. To read more and watch the Apache Foundation's video, click here.
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  • The Oklahoman / NewsOK.com
Accepting for The Oklahoman/NewsOK.com is Alan Herzberger
In 2008 The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com  rad a series of "Going Green" stories that spread into most major sections of the newspaper and continued with ongoing coverage online with videos, podcasts and a blog at NewsOK.com. The stories were praised by our judges for helping Oklahomans learn to become more eco-friendly by saving energy. To watch their video, click here.
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  • Collinsville Downtown, Inc.

Accepting for Collinsville Downtown, Inc. (L to R): Preston Harlye & Brad Francis
Collinsville Downtown, Inc. took a 62-year old building in a high traffic area and tuned it from deteriorated to delightful. As the only eyesore remaining in the area that had been improved with new streets, curbs and landscaping, the work has increased retail business while preserving Collinsville's history. To watch their video and see the paint transformation, click here.
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  • John Kahre

When someone with the stature of Sid Patterson calls a person "instrumental in the development of Up With Trees" and says he is the perfect volunteer, well, it's quite a compliment. Tulsan John Kahre is in his third decade of service to that nationally recognized organization, continuing to lead the way for others to follow. Click here to read more about John's story and watch his video.
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  • The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Coalition - Okemah

Accepting for The Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Coalition (L to R): Becky Grider and Danna Primm
During the 3-day festival in Okemah, the Woody Guthrie Coalition recycled more than half the waste generated. Set up by the OK Department of Environmental Quality and managed by local volunteers, more than 4,000 lbs of waste was diverted in 2009. The D.E.Q. is using this great work to demonstrate to other festivals and outdoor events that event recycling is good for everyone because, after all, this land is our land. To watch their video, click here.
  • Arts Council of Oklahoma City

Accepting for the Arts Council of Oklahoma City (L to R): Cheryl Vaught, Angela Cozby & Randy Alvarado
The Arts Council of Oklahoma City for its diverse efforts to make its celebrated Oklahoma Festival of the Arts as green as possible with a systematic and business-like 5-year plan. Elements include reduced paper use, bike racks, organic t-shirts, and - very importantly - a detailed five-year plan that will turn the festival completely green. To watch their video, click here.
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  • Kyle Schmidt - Ardmore

Kyle Schmidt for leading a group of grade-school students known as the Tree Huggerz in developing their own household recycling collection program in Ardmore, complete with contracts and a recycling manual with helpful guidelines. 11-year-old Kyle is using the proceeds from aluminum sales to help save a sea lion. Kyle and his fellow Tree Huggerz define the word commitment. To watch Kyle's video, click here.
  • Master Sergeant John Edwards - Pryor

Master Sergeant John Edwards for 15 tireless years of work as Commander of Cadets at Thunderbird Youth Academy, a program for at-risk youth. Known as a powerful communicator, Master Sergeant Edwards has enriched the lives of almost 2,500 young cadets by involving them in promoting, improving and preserving Oklahoma's environment. During just this past year, he has overseen almost 12,000 community service hours performed by his cadets. To watch his video, click here.
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  • Dr. James E. Horne
Raised on a family farm near Roosevelt in southwestern Oklahoma, Jim Horne has spent his lifetime in agriculture as a rancher and as an advisor to other farmers around the nation. Today he serves as CEO and president of the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, a non-profit educational foundation near Poteau. But there's mich more to his story.....click here to continue reading and watch Dr. Horne's video.
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  • Mercy Health Center - Oklahoma City

From among all category winners in each year's competition, the judges select the one project out of all others that stands out as the best of the environmental best for the year.  This is a very well kept secret until the final presentation of the evening!

Surprised with the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award was Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City for establishing green initiatives and proving sustainabilty pays in more ways than one. To read more about Mercy Health Center, click here.

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