The Jay Heritage Center (JHC) was honored with a New York Point out Historic Preservation Award for Excellence in Non-Financial gain Accomplishment very last Thursday in recognition of its rehabilitation and stewardship of the Jay Estate Gardens. The award was a single of only 10 conferred this yr for excellence in the preservation and revitalization of New York State’s historic and cultural means and the only one particular in Westchester.
“The transformational layout of the gardens not only demonstrates the historic context but emphasizes an intentionality to restore native species and original voices and to cultivate an appreciate and comprehending of sustainable landscapes through partnerships and general public outreach,” said New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid.
The awards ceremony was held at the New York Condition Museum in Albany and also recognized undertaking teams dependable for the renewal of Pier 56 and El Barrio in Manhattan, the T Constructing in Queens, and the rehabilitation of the Niagara Falls River Gorge Stairway.
JHC President Suzanne Clary explained “JHC is immensely grateful for this recognition and our effective partnership with New York Point out Parks. This award affirms our shared perception that a sustainable landscape rehabilitation can simultaneously restore ecological harmony, entice wildlife, though also aiding in the interpretation of American historical past, cultural id and placemaking.”
The New York State Business office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) applauded the ingenuity of a 3-place back garden style and design by landscape architects Nelson Byrd Woltz that complements JHC’s programming curriculum. Historic capabilities that had extensive missing their integrity and were subsumed by invasive species have been efficiently rehabilitated and can now be interpreted for the public. Integral crew users involved the engineering firms of Silman and Langan and archaeologist Dr. Eugene Boesch. Funding for the undertaking arrived entirely via a $500,000 grant from NY State’s Regional Financial Enhancement Council and donations from the general public.
The 23-acre Jay Estate is a substantial, thrilling campus for young citizen scientists and the reimagined Jay Estate Gardens are its newest, most dynamic classrooms. Apart from their impression as hand-on laboratories to study the all-natural sciences, the gardens also provide as a residing tableau – a botanical backdrop – versus which the narratives of all the families, proprietors, and servants, free of charge and enslaved, who lived and labored on this web-site are becoming explored. In truth, deliberate structure options had been produced to secure extant archaeological resources which include these affiliated with Indigenous and enslaved African American citizens of the home this kind of as the Valentine Family members (pre-1787- 1847).
Jointly with advice from the devoted employees at NYSOPRHP, the Jay Estate Gardens team productively recaptured the character of the historic gardens. The refreshed new environmentally friendly areas hold the likely to assistance encourage underserved youth to go after careers in a multitude of professions from historic preservation to horticulture to archaeology. Most importantly, the venture elevates the position of group partnerships as central to sustainable parkland restoration.
The undertaking has been supported by several entities from notion via execution and utilization which include the African American Men of Westchester, the Japan Society of Fairfield County, the Port Chester Youth Bureau, Meals on Major Street, American Women of African Heritage, Westchester County Parks, and the Decrease Hudson Partnership for Invasive Species Management (LHPRISM).