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


KOB Announces UnCapped & UpCycled Finalists!

KOB's Litter Education programs provide an opportunity for classrooms to get creative while learning about litter, recycling, and more. 

UnCapped reaches 4th and 5th graders, where participants create an artwork out of bottle caps. Students also write a class-collaborative essay about why recycling is important. 

UpCycled is a program for 7th and 8th graders. Participants create "upcycle" art, using items that might otherwise have been thrown away. Students also write a class-collaborative essay about the importance of reusing items and the effects of landfills and excessive waste.

Finalists from these programs will be recognized at the 28th Annual Environmental Excellence Celebration on November 30, 2018. Check out the finalists below!


 Teacher: Ms. Manal Dabboussi

Teacher: Ms. Manal Dabboussi

 Teacher: Mrs. Ranee Schoenhals

Teacher: Mrs. Ranee Schoenhals

 Teacher: Ms. Jennifer Lewis

Teacher: Ms. Jennifer Lewis


 Teacher: Ms. Martha Perters

Teacher: Ms. Martha Perters

 Teacher: Ms. Sandra Berry

Teacher: Ms. Sandra Berry

 Teacher: Ms. Martha Peters

Teacher: Ms. Martha Peters


Every litter bit hurts, and Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s Litter Education is a program helping to spread that message. By providing opportunities through creative projects, its three programs (UnCapped, UpCycled, and End Litter) are developed to teach students about the harmful effects of littering and the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling. 

Uncapped reaches fourth and fifth graders, who are instructed to collect old bottle caps and create a mural out of them. The students also work on a class-collaborative essay discussing the effects of litter. The winning class will be awarded a pizza party, which the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Executive Directors will attend along with a special Oklahoma City Thunder guest. Registration opens on August 20thand closes September 20th, and projects are due October 5.

UpCycled is a program designed for seventh and eighth graders. In this program, students work on UpCycle projects, turning trash into treasure. These students report their findings in a class-collaborative essay as well. The winning class will be awarded a pizza party, which the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Executive Directors will attend along with a special Oklahoma City Thunder guest. Registration opens on August 20thand closes September 20th, and projects are due October 5.

With End Litter, high school and college students write, create, and produce videos highlighting the dangerous effects of littering on the environment. High school and college students are judged separately. Videos must be original work, between 25 and 45 seconds in length. Winning videos will be posted on KOB’s website, YouTube, and social media. The first place winners for college and high school will receive a cash prize of $750. Registration opens on August 20thand  closes November 15 and videos must be submitted by December 31.

Litter Education is cost-free for school systems, low-hassle for teachers, beneficial for students, and important for Oklahoma. Its three projects encourage students to research human activity and the environment and tap into their creative side to share their findings. The best way to safeguard the future of Oklahoma is to invest in the futures of young Oklahomans and Keep Oklahoma Beautiful is proud to uphold this mission. 





Saturday's with Shavara

Saturday's with Shavara

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen! Last week the staff of KOB and a few of our board members coordinated a cleanup at Arcadia Lake. Our desire to have a cleanup was sparked by a news article discussing the terrible conditions of the shoreline, and the difficulties the Lake Arcadia personnel have with tackling the amount of litter that can be seen floating in the water after a heavy rainfall. 

Saturday's with Shavara

Saturday's with Shavara

Welcome back to another beautiful Saturday with yours truly! By now all of you are well aware of the totally disjointed, and all over the place-ness that is my blog. I am constantly hit with new ideas for topics, and I hate to admit that I have little regard for maintaining any form of topic structure. For those of you that have been loyal readers thank you for bearing with me, and my rambling ways for as long as you have. 

Saturday's with Shavara

Saturday's with Shavara

Welcome back to another very green Saturday with Shavara! I am happy to have kept your attention for what is now the 5thSaturday with me. If you’ve been following along thus far you know that my goal is to not only inform, but to entertain you with methods of reducing our environmental impact. The topics that call to me have no order or method behind why they are chosen; rather, I’m often inspired by what I have learned from my own sustainable journey. 

Fresh Paint Days Applications Are Now Open!

Fresh Paint Days Applications Are Now Open!

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 1, 2018) – Fresh Paint Days (FPD) is an annual, free, revitalization program available to anyone living in any of Oklahoma’s communities. FPD is a program through Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB) that provides community groups with free paint and a stipend to improve buildings in their area. Applications open June 1 and close July 31. Paint is delivered in late August throughout the state and projects are completed through the month of September.