Press Room

Audubon’s Annual Women in Conservation Luncheon Honors Rose H. Harvey and The Garden Club of America

Female conservation leaders receive coveted Rachel Carson Award for dedication to conserving public parks and preserving bird-friendly native plants.

NEW YORK – On May 16 at the Plaza Hotel, the National Audubon Society celebrated the legacy of female leadership in environmental conservation at its annual Women in Conservation luncheon. The prestigious Rachel Carson Award was presented to Rose H. Harvey, former Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and The Garden Club of America, whose president Dede Petri accepted on behalf of the organization.

This year’s event highlighted the value of public parks and native plants for birds and people, as well as the community organizing and advocacy efforts that help ensure a cleaner, healthier environment for all. Hosted by NBC News' Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson, the luncheon celebrated outstanding women leaders in today's conservation movement whose work has greatly advanced conservation locally and globally.

“As birds and people face the growing threats of our changing climate and habitat loss, it’s more important than ever to conserve and protect the green spaces of our country. Audubon is honored to celebrate this year’s Rachel Carson Award honorees, Rose H. Harvey and The Garden Club of America,” said David O’Neill, chief conservation officer of the National Audubon Society. “These women are dedicated, proven leaders in the conversation movement by preserving and growing urban and public gardens that provide havens of bird-friendly native plants, helping our birds adapt to our changing climate.”

“Rose H. Harvey and The Garden Club of America keep the courageous spirit of Rachel Carson alive through their outstanding contributions to the environmental movement,” said Ana Paula Tavares, executive director of Audubon New York. “Their work to establish urban gardens and playgrounds in underserved neighborhoods, restore native habitats, and advocate for important conservation funding reminds us that American women bring strength and conviction to the protection of all life on Earth.”

Allison Whipple Rockefeller, the founder of Audubon Women in Conservation and the Rachel Carson Award, spoke at the ceremony with a nod to the award’s namesake and shared her passion for the projects and people the program honors. Guests enjoyed a locally-sourced vegetarian menu catered by Great Performances, owned by Rachel Carson Awards Council member Liz Neumark.

Notable guests included: Allison Whipple Rockefeller, Rose Harvey, Dede Petri, Laureen Barber, Jayni Chase, Norma Dana, Barbara de Portago, Kim Elliman, Gloria Fieldcamp, David B. Ford, Trip Gabriel, Jeanine Behr Getz, Erik Kulleseid, Diane Lewis, Shelly Malkin, Alexis Maybank, Josie Merck, Bibhu Mohaptra, David O’Neill, Peter Rockefeller, Susan Cohn Rockefeller, Simon Roosevelt, Betsy Barlow Rogers, Catherine Sidamon-Eristoff, Karen Thomas, Anne Thompson, Lucy Waletzky, George and Victoria Whipple and more.

When: Thursday, May 16, 2019

Where: The Plaza Hotel, NYC


About Audubon's Women in Conservation
Established in 2003 in honor of Rachel Carson, author and monumental figure of the modern environmental movement, Audubon Women in Conservation strives to recognize the female environmental leaders who change our world, and inspire the next generation of young women who will join them in environmental careers and activism. Proceeds from Audubon Women in Conservation support Audubon’s conservation efforts, including our Long Island Sound and Coastal Stewardship Program and the Audubon Women in Conservation Internship. For more information, visit

About the National Audubon Society
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at and @audubonsociety.

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