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Audubon New York Remembers Patricia “Pat” Keesee

Pioneering conservationist for native plants and the birds that depend on them.

New York March 1, 2019— “Pat Keesee’s commitment to landscape conservation, native plants, and birds were inspirational,” said Ana Paula Tavares, executive director of Audubon New York. "She was a close member of the Audubon family and will be missed by us all.”

Born in Nashville, TN, Pat grew up on the banks of the Cumberland River. Her interest in botany and the world of nature expanded throughout the years, as she became a lifelong champion of a landscape-level approach to conservation.

“You can’t preserve specific species without all the land that surrounds them,” said Pat.

Along with her husband, Thomas W. Keesee Jr., Pat volunteered with a number of local conservation organizations in the Westchester, NY area: Tom and Pat joined their local Bedford Audubon Society chapter in 1958, and Tom served as Chairman of the National Audubon Society Board of Directors from 1979 – 1983. Their son Thomas Keesee III is on the Board of Directors of Audubon New York.  The contributions of the Keesee family to bird conservation are admirable.

In 2017, Audubon New York was proud to honor Pat at the Keesee Luncheon with a special recognition for a lifetime of dedicated work with native plants.

The “Thomas W. Keesee, Jr. Conservation Award” was established in 2001 by Pat and her children, and is presented annually by Audubon New York to honor the individual or individuals who have shown remarkable environmental leadership and commitment, particularly in New York State.

Audubon New York staff and board look forward to continuing to promote the Keesee legacy of conservation in New York. Pat’s passion lives on with her children, grandchildren, and our shared effort to protect birds and the places they need.