Environmental Excellence Celebration Winners Announced

December 4, 2018 - Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma citizens with a passion for their communities joined together at Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s 28th Annual Environmental Excellence Celebration last Friday, November 30th at the Hilton Garden Inn & Edmond Conference Center. Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB), a statewide nonprofit recognizes Oklahomans doing their part to help preserve the beauty and sustainability of this state.

This year, over 37 individuals, communities, businesses, municipalities, state agencies and more from across the state were recognized for their work in the past year. The Keep Oklahoma Board selected six individuals or groups as recipients of the prestigious board commendation awards. 

This year’s recipients were as follows: Sara Hill with Cherokee Nation for the Towering Spirit Award. Chickasaw Reuse Center for Visionary Leadership. Francis Solar Systems – Tulsa for the Vanguard Award. Karen Chapman, with Blue Thumb for the Champion Volunteer Award. Tom Creider, Program Manager of Oklahoma State Parks for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Last but not least, our new Environmental Advocate Award for American Waste, Waste Connections and Waste Management.

Each year, KOB hosts the Environmental Excellence Competition, where the public nominates groups and individuals for their efforts to benefit Oklahoma. The nominations are presented to a panel of guest judges from the community, who determine finalists in various different categories.

 "Here at Keep Oklahoma Beautiful we are about communities, not profit,” said Jeanette Nance, Executive Director of Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. “When disconnected people come together as a community with a cause, we change the face of Oklahoma. I absolutely love this event where we can honor so many deserving individuals and groups for the good they do all across our state.”

Finalists for the Environmental Excellence Competition showed exceptional work in the following areas: education, conservation, beautification, sustainability practices, nonprofit efforts, youth leadership, litter prevention, and more. 

The winners in those categories included:

Affiliate Champions 

Kay Watson - Ardmore Beautification Council

Chuck Ralls - City of Comanche

Ony Russell - Owasso Strong Neighborhood Initiative

Nathan Pickard - Up With Trees

Stephanie Giacomo - Pride in McAlester

Youth Achievement Award:

Boy Scout Troop #169

K-12 Education

Will Rogers Elementary

Collegiate Effort

Oklahoma State University

Towering Spirit-Individual

Sara Hill - Cherokee Nation

Government Programs – Municipality

City of Oklahoma City - Shine 

Law Enforcement Individual

Deputy Don Hudgins, Logan County Sheriff’s Office 

Law Enforcement Program

Logan County Commissioners


Michelin of North America

Visionary Leadership

Chickasaw Nation Reuse Center

Best Visual Impact FPD

Town of Wellston 


Mercy School - Ms. Dabboussi’s class - 5th Grade 


Eisenhower Middle School - Ms. Berry’s class - 8th Grade 

Environmental Advocate Award

Waste Management

Waste Connections

American Waste Control


Durant Area Chamber 


City of Lawton 

ODOT - Trash Off - Best Overall

City of Pauls Valley 

GAC-Achievement Award 

Henryetta FFA 

Non-Profits: <15,000

Phoenix Circle Foundation 

Non-Profits: 15,000-40,000

Ardmore Beautification 

Non-Profits >40,001

South Central Industries 

Vanguard Award

Francis Solar Systems-Tulsa

Volunteer Community Group

Ardmore Clean Team

Champion Volunteer

Karen Chapman

Team Builders

OK Tree Bank Foundation 

Lifetime Achievement

Tom Creider

Best of the Best

Deputy Don Hudgins 

Winners in the various award categories were announced the night of banquet.

Shanon Philips, the President of KOB said, “the finalists and winners recognized at this event are an inspiration to all of us, proving that everyone can do their part to make the world a better place.” Join KOB in recognizing these outstanding Oklahomans!

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful is a statewide nonprofit with a mission to empower Oklahoma citizens to preserve and enhance the state’s natural beauty and ensure a healthy, sustainable environment. For more information about KOB, visit: keepoklahomabeautiful.com