The Chickasaw Nation received top honors at the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB) awards ceremony Nov. 19 in Oklahoma City at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The tribe received an Environmental Excellence Award in the tribal government category for partnerships with Chickasha, Ardmore and Ada for disposing of household hazardous waste.
“The Chickasaw Nation was selected as a finalist because of the hard work and dedication of the Environmental Services Department and continued support from administration,” said John Ellis, executive officer of construction and support services.
“This project was our contribution in keeping our communities clean and safe from environmental hazards which includes a partnership with local communities. Environmental Services is a relatively small department and to be recognized by Keep Oklahoma Beautiful is an honor,” he added.
During the ceremony, KOB honored finalists and announced the winners of the Environmental Excellence Competition. More than 500 guests attended this sold-out event.
KOB shows appreciation of the work of numerous groups and individuals. From elementary-aged children to government programs, the awards banquet was a celebration of excellence happening all over the state in every capacity.
Also presented at the ceremony were winners of five Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Board of Directors awards. Individual recipients included Gov. Mary Fallin, Norma Lynne Paschall, Ardmore Beautification Council, and Buzz McDonald, representing Warren Caterpillar.
Paschall received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her many years of work with the Ardmore Beautification Council. Before her retirement earlier this year, she was instrumental in the success of the household hazardous waste collection held in Ardmore in partnership with the Chickasaw Nation.
“It was wonderful working with the Chickasaw Nation,” Paschall said. “(It is) so efficient and it was impressive how many people came out and supported the collection program. It was the first household hazardous waste event in Ardmore and we hope it will be held again.”
Two organizations received Board of Directors awards as well. Winners included Serve Moore, an organization made up of local churches and community groups combining efforts to assist residents impacted by the May tornadoes, and the Apache Corporation for helping Tulsa area non-profits convert vehicles to compressed natural gas.