GIVING BACK TO THIS PLACE
THAT DID SO MUCH FOR THE WARREN FAMILY
“We look for opportunities to recognize Tulsa and differentiate it from other communities.”
-- John-Kelly C. Warren
The William K. Warren Foundation is an entity borne out of “Green Country,” northeast Oklahoma. Much of the wealth that became the corpus of the Foundation came from the land beneath the people who are the greatest beneficiaries of its support. Therefore, giving back to this place that did so much for the Warren Family is an area of focus for the Foundation.
Health education, medical research, health care services, and Catholic initiatives are also largely about “community.” But, this section highlights just a few of the efforts the Foundation supports to help make Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma more livable and competitive for the talented people who will continue to make the area dynamic and vibrant into the future. These efforts are typically in the areas of beautification, economic development, and promotion of healthy lifestyles.
Moving people from sedentary lifestyles to even mild activity seems to be some of the lowest-hanging of all low-hanging fruit for those trying to improve health outcomes in the USA. In fact, as a single variable, it increases life expectancy by 1.8 years.* Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is an endeavor to get people moving toward a healthier, happier life. The mission of the event is to "elevate the profile of Tulsa and promote active lifestyles." The William K. Warren Foundation has been a supporter of the event's efforts since inception.
*PLOS Medicine, 2012
Most people are very surprised when they come to the Tulsa area for the first time. “Surprise” is when expectations don’t match up with reality. The expectation is typically that the area will have a flat, treeless topography straight out of a Western movie. The surprise comes when visitors to Tulsa see the reality of a hilly, urban forest. Northeast Oklahoma is where the Western USA meets the Eastern USA; where the arid meets the verdant trees, rivers, lakes, and hills that people are more likely to expect in Nashville, Atlanta, and Charlotte.
Since its founding days, Tulsa has had access to abundant fresh water. This fresh water supply has allowed for the Tulsa metro area to develop into an urban forest. The trees that make up the urban forest not only beautify the area, but they also provide important environmental services to the community. Those services include reduced energy usage, improved air quality, lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced summertime temperatures, enhanced storm water management, enhanced water quality, improved habitat for many species, and reduced noise.* The Warren Tree Farm grows trees to be donated to worthy causes to help celebrate and to continue Tulsa’s legacy as one of America’s most livable cities.**
*U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2014