Keep Oklahoma Beautiful has chosen Tulsan Michael Patton as its 200th lifetime achievement award winner. The award was to be presented at the group’s annual banquet in Tulsa recently.
Patton, executive director of the Metropolitan Environmental Trust since 1995, at 50 years old is the youngest person ever to receive the lifetime achievement award, says KOB Executive Director Gail Edderer.
“Keep Oklahoma Beautiful saw Michael’s extraordinary passion for the environment, a passion that has guided his professional career,” she says. “He has made an undeniable impact on Oklahoma recycling programs and environmental education. He’s devised new and inventive ways to promote and market environmental efforts. His talent, knowledge and creativity are well known and respected in and outside of Oklahoma.
Patton, known to many as “Recycle Michael” is a lifelong Tulsan. He got his environmental start by organizing a litter clean up in McClure Park on the first Earth day in 1970 as an 11 year old.
He is a founder of the Oklahoma Recycling Coalition, past president of Keep Tulsa Beautiful and Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, past board member for the National Recycling Coalition, and a member of the Ozone Alert team for more than a decade.
He serves on the EPA market development team for Region 6 and the steering committee for the Millennium Center. He also is the board secretary for Up With Trees, serves on the boards of Tulsa Mayfest and Tulsa Now, and is a co-chair of Mayor Kathy Taylor’s BeGreen Team.
As executive director of The M.E.T., Patton oversees a dozen recycling businesses in the metro area, conducts twice a year hazardous waste collections at the fairgrounds and runs Earth Day Activities for the region. He has assisted hundreds of businesses, schools and churches implement environmental practices in the Tulsa area. He also has been credited with attracting green businesses to the area and for passing numerous green ordinances and state legislative initiatives.
“We are fortunate that Michael has chosen Tulsa as the recipient of his life of service,” says Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor. “His work is a model to all who would strive to keep this city and this state a more healthy and beautiful place to live.”