Downtown OKC Partnership’s Green Team: Elevating Downtown Excellence

By: Selena Romero / Inside OKC / February 28, 2024

Oklahoma City’s Green Team, an initiative of Downtown OKC Partnership, is a dedicated force of downtown ambassadors dedicated to keeping our downtown OKC safe and clean. As the city thrives, the Green Team plays a pivotal role in realizing the importance of the Business Improvement District (BID).

Phi Nguyen, Chief Operating Officer of Downtown OKC, says the cleanliness of downtown OKC is no result of magic but meticulous planning and execution. 

“Our BID, the largest geographically and by budget in the city, covering 1.5 square miles and six downtown districts, gives us a unique position to shape a cohesive vision and plan for downtown—keeping it safe, clean and inviting,” Nguyen shared.

While the traditional responsibilities of a BID include ensuring cleanliness and safety, evolving communities have highlighted the significance of extending this responsibility beyond the public realm. Downtown OKC takes a proactive approach to activating unused spaces or reinventing existing spaces in the urban core through various programs. Programs like Mural Match and Midtown Tree Grant exemplify this, allowing property owners to request support in enhancing streetscapes within the six districts.  

After 18 months of engaging with community partners and studying best practices from other cities, the Green Team was launched in the spring of 2022. The team uniquely collaborates with Block by Block, one of the nation’s largest providers of street-level services to improvement districts. Block by Block provides safety, cleaning, landscaping, hospitality and social outreach services. This strategic move brings together local talent to address the varied needs of the community efficiently as opposed to hiring several different companies to address services individually.  

The Green Team provides various essential services including trash and waste removal, street vacuuming, pressure washing sidewalks, sticker and graffiti removal, special event information, business check-ins and hospitality. The Green Team also provides homeless outreach. Last year, the 14-member team conducted 5,044 welfare check-ins by connecting with unhoused individuals in the downtown area.  

Furthermore, they provided hospitality assistance in 62,770 instances, answering questions, directing visitors to OKC attractions or simply providing directions. The team also demonstrated their commitment to safety and cleanliness by removing 1,364 biohazards, conducting 4,685 proactive business check-ins with downtown establishments, recycling 28.85 lbs. of cigarette butts, addressing 2,505 instances of graffiti and dedicating 727 hours to pressure washing.  

The program’s thoughtfully crafted approach acknowledges the premium service it provides. Downtown property owners, recognizing the significance, actively support the initiative. The bright green branding of the Green Team on vehicles and uniforms serves to connect the dots, ensuring that people recognize it as a downtown BID program.  

Phi Nguyen shared her enthusiasm about the public-facing role of the Green Team, emphasizing the critical importance of customer service. “Whether interacting with property owners, retailers, visitors, or residents, the Green Team brings an advanced level of hospitality to the forefront,” Nguyen said.  

The success of this initiative reflects the local dedication and a shared vision for the future of downtown Oklahoma City.  

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