Nora Patterson’s Legacy Lives on Through Conservation Foundation's Land Fund

The Giving Coast

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast will receive a transformative gift in honor of the late Nora Patterson. Patterson, who passed away on February 8 at the age of 79, was an enthusiastic supporter of land conservation and a dedicated public servant. A Sarasota resident for over fifty years, in 2015 she was recognized for her lifetime efforts when the Sarasota County Commission and City Commission took joint action to name the park located at the north bridge to Siesta Key the Nora Patterson Bay Island Park. Nora was a passionate advocate for public lands and community action. She served on Conservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees from November 2016 through January 2021, helping the organization protect 8,600 acres across the region during her tenure. To honor Nora’s legacy, husband John Patterson is including Conservation Foundation in his estate plan to receive a percentage of the Patterson estate. Funds will be designated to Conservation Foundation’s Land Fund in memory of Nora’s impact and lasting mark on our community. Initially established in 2017, the newly renamed Nora Patterson Land Fund quickens the pace of conservation when other public and private funding resources are unavailable. Conservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees oversees the usage of funds, prioritizing initiatives related to water quality and quantity, native species protection, connectivity, and unique public access. “Nora was on our Board when we created the Land Fund and she played an integral role in bringing it to life,” comments Christine P. Johnson, president of Conservation Foundation. “We are deeply grateful to John Patterson for choosing to honor Nora with this transformative gift. Her kindness, generosity, and unwavering support helped conserve thousands of acres during her lifetime. Now, through the Nora Patterson Land Fund, her legacy will live on, forever protecting clean and abundant water, public access to open space, and habitat for wildlife across Southwest Florida.” Nora Patterson served on the Sarasota City Commission for eight years, including a term as mayor. She served on the Sarasota County Commissions from 1998 until November 2014, with three terms as chair. During her service on the Sarasota County Commission, she represented the county on the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority, the West Coast Inland Navigational District, and the Peace River Authority. She was also active in the Florida Association of Counties and chaired the Sarasota Tourist Development Council. In addition to her service on Conservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Nora held leadership positions on the boards of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Florida, Sarasota United Way, Plymouth Harbor, the Glasser Schoenbaum Center, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, and Sarasota County Teen Court. To make a gift to the Nora Patterson Land Fund, visit conservationfoundation.com/donate or call 941-918-2100 and ask for anyone on the Philanthropy Team.

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