NEW YORK, NY (May 3, 2017) — The Open Space Institute (OSI) has presented its annual Land Conservation Award to OSI founding Chairman John Adams, his wife Patricia, and their children Kate, John Hamilton and Ramsay for their groundbreaking contributions to protecting the landscapes and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley, New York State, and the nation.
More than 300 people gathered at OSI’s Annual Luncheon, held Tuesday at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan, to honor the Adamses. Andrew Serwer, Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Finance, delivered the keynote address introducing the family.
“John and Patricia Adams and their family have had an immeasurable impact on the health and wellbeing of countless individuals and communities throughout our country. Aside from the family’s countless successes, their dedication and unwavering commitment to protecting our natural resources have inspired millions around the world to fight for clean water, the conservation of at-risk landscapes and protection of our earth from the effects of climate change,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “We are indebted to them and honored to present our Annual Land Conservation Award to this extraordinary family.”
“To be honored as a family who cares and works to protect the environment is very significant to us,” the family said in a joint statement. “What’s more important is the success of OSI in preserving millions of acres of our precious landscape. Led by Kim Elliman, OSI has become a leading environmental organization. We are proud to be a part of the OSI family.”
Over the past 45 years, OSI Trustee Chair John Adams, his wife Patricia and their family have worked together to honor and protect the natural world. John has served as Chair of the OSI Board of Trustees since its establishment in 1973, spearheading the organization as it has grown to partner in the protection of 2.2 million acres from the southeastern US into southern Canada.
As founder of Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the largest and most important environmental organizations in the world today, John Adams ignited the nation’s environmental movement in the 1970s. Today, NRDC remains among the nation’s most effective, resourceful and steadfast environmental protection organizations.
Throughout his career, John Adams has received many awards — most notably the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the US. And, as decades-long residents of the Hudson Valley, both John and Patricia have worked to preserve and enhance 28,000 acres in Garrison and along the Beaverkill River for public use.
Together, the couple has passed their love of the environment onto their children. As Honeywell vice president and general counsel, Kate Adams led the company through successful remediation of Onondaga Lake in Syracuse and the reduction of Honeywell’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent. John Hamilton Adams’s love of nature is expressed in his art and feature films, some filmed along the Beaverkill River. Ramsay Adams is co-founder of the advocacy organization, Catskill Mountainkeeper, which works to fend off threats to the Catskill region’s natural resources, and successfully fought hydrofracking in New York State.
John and Patricia’s two nephews, Tom and McCrea Burnham, who became an integral part of the Adams family after the death of their parents, also show their dedication. Tom is the Environmental Director at The Center for Discovery, a facility that services children and adults with severe disabilities and medical frailties. McCrea has worked on natural resource protection programs at New York State’s Department of Conservation since college graduation.
Together, John and Patricia co-wrote “A Force for Nature,” about the progression of the environmental movement, tracing the growth of NRDC, where a small group of inspired lawyers and dedicated environmentalists, working together as a "family" with multiple talents and purposes, became one of the largest and most important environmental organizations in the world today.