Remembering Ellie Kelly, Scenic America Co-Founder and Iconic Conservationist
November 30, 2023

Ellen “Ellie” Kelly, one of Scenic America’s original founders and true champion of scenic conservation, passed away on November 16, 2023. Ellie dedicated her life to the preservation of the nation’s visual landscapes, leaving an indelible mark on the world of environmental advocacy. She was 94 years old.

Born Ellen Whitmore Harvey in Baltimore, MD, Ellie’s journey into conservation began early in her youth and continued through the duration of her life. As a founding member of Scenic America in 1986, her unwavering commitment to the organization’s mission and her deep love for the natural beauty of America fueled her passion for the cause. In 2022, Ellie was honored by Scenic America as a “Scenic Hero,” recognizing her outstanding contributions to the organization and the cause of scenic conservation.

Ellie’s impact extended far beyond her role as a co-founder. Her advocacy work reached into the hearts of communities, inspiring countless individuals to appreciate and protect the scenic beauty that defines our nation. Whether testifying before policymakers, leading grassroots initiatives, or mentoring the next generation of environmental stewards, Ellie’s dedication to the cause was unmatched.

Ellie’s impact was not confined to boardrooms and legislative chambers; she was equally at home in the great outdoors. Her legacy includes a lifetime of hiking, exploring, and fostering a deep connection with the natural world. Through her involvement, Scenic America became a force for change, pushing for policies that prioritize the preservation of scenic landscapes and the visual character of our communities.

As we mourn the loss of Ellie Kelly, let us also celebrate the extraordinary life of a woman whose legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. Her vision, tenacity, and love for the scenic beauty of America will forever be etched in the landscape she worked so passionately to protect.

Her memorial service will be held at Church of the Redeemer (5603 N. Charles Street) in Baltimore, MD at 11 am on Saturday, January 6, 2024.