Our non-profit, the Jay Heritage Center (JHC) is dedicated to transforming the 23-acre Jay Estate into a vibrant educational campus, hosting innovative and inclusive programs about American History, Historic Preservation, Social Justice, and Environmental Stewardship.

Jay Estate Gardens Design Honored for Excellence

Nelson Byrd Woltz Wins McKim, Mead & White Award

Oh what a night!  Congratulations to Thomas Woltz and his exceptional team at Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architecture  including Mark Streiter and Charlotte Barrows. This past Wednesday evening, December 6, they won a prestigious McKim, Mead and White Award for Excellence in Classical and New Traditional Design for the gardens at the Jay Estate and a design “that compresses centuries into one riveting glance.” The honor, bestowed by the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture (ICAA), recognizes  achievement in individual projects in architecture, interiors, landscape, urbanism, and building craftsmanship.

Thanks to ICAA, Peter Lyden and the jury who selected our project. Grateful to Mitchell Owens for articulating the most compelling facets of each winning work in such mellifluous prose. Our gardens were commended for being “pleasing to the eye while being intellectually complex.”

Read more and see photos here.

For Garden and History Lovers

Curl Up with Mac Griswold's "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise"

Now is an ideal time to curl up with a really great book! We were honored to have author and landscape historian Mac Griswold join us this past May as our gardening season began. Her profile of Rachel “Bunny” Mellon in “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” is a must-read for the holidays. And you can also enjoy the video of her talk here.

Griswold—who knew Rachel “Bunny” Mellon personally—shared her journey combing through Mellon’s archives at the Oak Spring Foundation. With candor, humor and admiration, Mac described Mellon as a collector of homes, landscapes, art, jewelry, clothes and even men. Bunny’s unassuming and whispering voice belied “a current of electrical power” that can be heard in this mesmerizing volume. Read more here.

How Can We Restore Indigenous Foodways?

Sean Sherman, the Sioux Chef, Has a Vision

On November 5, Sean Sherman, the award-winning author and founder of North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NĀTIFS), gave a riveting presentation about restoring Indigenous foodways. As part of his talk to an audience of more than 90 people, Sherman reviewed the history of Native peoples in America. Using maps and timelines to reference the myriad and chronic challenges to tribal autonomy, he described the economic and health crises affecting Indigenous groups and demonstrated how they have been systematically deprived of access to education about establishing more sustainable nutrition models for themselves and their families.

His message was sobering yet hopeful. Sherman shared his vision for creating a new North American food system that generates wealth and improves diets in Native populations through food-related enterprises. He encouraged the audience to reimagine a new path to addressing past injustices through training youth in entrepreneurship, establishing satellite Indigenous eateries and expanding regional access to traditional resources. See more photos and find the video link here.

The Jay Estate in Rye was home to one of our nation's greatest peacemakers, John Jay...

...and today, it is YOUR park

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