We said “It’s your park – imagine the possibilities” and you did! In this 100th anniversary year of the National Park Service, your dollars have already had a visible impact in helping us launch a dramatic revitalization of our own nationally landmarked 23 acre park. As a result, visitation to the Jay Estate increased to well over 5000 visitors in the last year! You were one of these visitors along with …
- Daily runners, walkers and recreation groups like the Westchester County Cycle Club jumpstarting their morning with a glimpse of sunlight sparkling on the water in Milton Harbor
- Zen practitioners of Tai Chi and yoga finding serenity in the view and the sound of native birds as well as young newcomers to Westchester strolling the grounds on weekends
- Families with young readers,future astronomers and budding artists who talked about the Varsity Squad of Founding Fathers with Jonah Winter, saw Saturn’s rings on a midsummer night from our backyard with Jason Kendall,learned about architecture with Isabel Hill and created a 5000 square foot painting in our meadow with Hervé Tullet
- Life students of garden and meadow design and environmental advocacy who viewed our plans for a sustainable landscape on the ground and from the air with Thomas Woltz, Larry Weaner and Alex Maclean; we hope to match schools and non-profits with 16 new vegetable beds to engage the community in farm to table education
- Adult readers of books on American History & African American Heritage – from “Cutting Across the Colored Line” to “The Quartet – Orchestrating the Second American Revolution” – who heard from and had a chance to speak with acclaimed authors Benilde Little, Paula Williams Madison, Quincy T. Mills, Joseph Ellis, Annette Gordon-Greed, Peter S. Onuf and Harold Holzer
Guests had many questions for Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf following their recent talk about Thomas Jefferson “The Most Blessed of Patriarchs.” Watch the Rye TV video by clicking on the photo above.
- 5th Graders from area schools in groups of 100-125 who learned about the complicated history of the abolition of slavery and struggle for civil rights in New York and why democracy and civic advocacy matter.** Special thanks this year to the Davis School of New Rochelle who surprised us with a $400 gift for a violet patch in our gardens to memorialize two enslaved sisters that once worked there
Our Striving For Freedom program is provided FREE to all schools thanks to a generous grant from Con Edison. Eligible schools may now qualify for FREE transportation thanks to a partnership with NY State Parks
- Non-Profit Partners like Teaching the Hudson Valley Institute (THVI), American Women of African Heritage (AWAH); Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (LHPRISM); Rye Sustainability Committee; Rye Nature Center; American Institute of Architects (AIA) – Hudson Valley Westchester Chapter; Preservation League of New York State (PLNYS); Friends of the African Cemetery; Rye Garden Club; Little Garden Club of Rye; Cornell Cooperative of Rockland County; Hudsonia; African American Advisory Board of Westchester County; Greater Hudson Heritage Network. As a member site of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, we regularly collaborate with others including NY State Parks and the National Park Service on a wide range of projects related to historic, natural and cultural resource preservation
The Jay Heritage Center is working together with the Town of Rye and the Preservation League of NY State to help create a strategy for stabilizing what may be the oldest slave dwelling in Westchester County. (Center photo: Fran Gubler, Erin Tobin both from PLNYS and Joan Grangenois-Thomas and David Thomas all meet at the 1907 Carriage House)
- Over 100 descendants of the many families that lived, worked and were frequent guests at the Jay Estate have retraced their footsteps. Perhaps the life story of your ancestors connects with the narrative of our site – there are many names with resonance – Lyon, Morgan, Rooke, Green, Livingston, Tillinghast, Beary, Valentine, du Bois, Van Norden, Bruen, Clarkson, Rutherfurd, Foshay, Bates, Delancey, Budd, Van Cortlandt, Bronson and many more
- More than a dozen regular high school students who have helped with archaeology digs, conducted tours and worked on original research about the Jay family history; plus volunteers from the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau and Con Edison for I Love My Park Day.
Your continued support is essential so that we can continue to offer collaborative, inclusive programs like these to visitors like you and all the public. Your 100% tax deductible gift today makes that possible. Help us continue to imagine – and realize– the possibilities for your park!