Join us on November 8th to celebrate this year's honorees and their conservation achievements.
The annual celebration of the Thomas W. Keesee, Jr. Conservation Award & the Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing took place on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. Thank you to all of our event sponsors, underwriters, honorees, and guests for making this year's event truly special.
Scroll to the bottom of this page for photos from the event.
2017 THOMAS W. KEESEE, JR. CONSERVATION AWARD HONOREES
Sheila Brady, Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects
Sheila Brady is a recognized leader and innovator in the field of sustainable design. Her design credits include institutions and national memorials, such as the campuses of the National World War II Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, as well as botanic gardens and public parks, with a particular focus on creating open space for botanic display and wildlife conservation while promoting education for the visitor. Notably, her vision for the four-acre Native Plant Garden and the Azalea Garden at the New York Botanical Garden demonstrates a new kind of garden that distills the region’s natural landscape around an innovative system of storm water management and bio filtration. The project was given the 2014 Honor Award by the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Ms. Brady is a registered Landscape Architect and has been elected to the Council of FASLA and is a Fellow of the Garden Conservancy. She holds a Masters of Landscape Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Susan and Coleman Burke
Susan Payson Burke is renowned for her knowledge and advocacy in the field of native plants and gardens. She is a member of the Bedford Garden Club, Nantucket Garden Club, and the Wave Hill Horticultural Committee, and sits on the Board of The New York Botanical Garden and The Garden Conservancy Board of Directors, and the Advisory Committee of The Untermeyer Garden and Hollister House Garden. Mrs. Burke cultivates her own exquisite gardens around the country, from her home in Bedford, NY, to her Nantucket Island garden, which was “archived” for the Smithsonian in 2012.
Coleman Burke is the founder of the Waterfront Companies, a New York City-based commercial real estate company. He has spent over forty years dedicated to environmental conservation, serving on the Leadership Council of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, on the Science Committee of the New York Botanical Garden, as a director of The National Forest Foundation, and as a trustee of The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, among others. Mr. Burke is a member of the National Audubon Society Board of Directors and the Burkes most recently funded the Coleman and Susan Burke Center for Native Plants.
AUDUBON NEW YORK AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING
Terry Tempest Williams
Known for her impassioned and lyrical prose, Terry Tempest Williams is an acclaimed author of environmental literature. Often called a “citizen writer,” she is a naturalist and fierce advocate for the freedom of speech who has consistently demonstrated how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice. Ms. Williams was the 2006 recipient of the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen, and has also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association, The Center for the American West’s Wallace Stegner Award, and the Sierra Club’s John Muir Award, honoring a distinguished record of leadership in American conservation. Ms. Williams is currently the Provostial Scholar at Dartmouth College, and her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide. She and her husband, Brooke Williams, divide their time between Castle Valley, Utah and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Patricia H. Keesee
Patricia Hartford (Pat) Keesee is a true pioneer in the field of conservation and land preservation. She is involved with the Rusticus Garden Club, The Garden Club of America, the Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College,
The Nature Conservancy, the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County, and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, holding multiple leadership roles with each of these organizations. She was awarded the Rusticus Garden Club
Medal of Merit in 2008 and named a National Conservation Hero by The Nature Conservancy in 2001. She holds a B.A. cum laude from Radcliffe College and a B.A. in Environmental Science, with honors, from SUNY Purchase. A native of Nashville, TN, she has lived in Mount Kisco, NY for six decades, where she has served on the Conservation Board and Wetlands Commission for the Town of Bedford, and the Environmental Management Council for Westchester County. She credits her interest in botany and the world of nature to roaming the banks of the Cumberland River as a child, collecting bunches of wildflowers to sell to her mother’s friends for a nickel.