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MAY 4 INTO THE WEEDS: HOW TO GARDEN LIKE A FORAGER. Join us as Tama Matsuoka Wong returns to JHC to share her newest book, Into the Weeds: How to Garden Like a Forager. Tama empowers budding and experienced gardeners alike to embrace a gentler, less rigid and more sustainable approach to tending the land. As a master forager and gardener, she invites you break free from meticulously ordered beds and rethink the way you engage with and value the plants around you. Into the Weeds teaches you to encourage those plants, even if you didn’t plant them yourself, turn invasive vines into simple structures like borders and beds, and transform the bounty of your surroundings into teas, tinctures, and cocktails. The program will include a demonstration of how to make an A frame trellis out of wild wood and natural materials along with a tasting of some of Tama’s favorite foraged recipes. Read more here. REGISTER HERE


APRIL 14 10:30AM – 2:30PM NATIVE TREE SYMPOSUM WITH KEYNOTE TALK BY DOUG TALLAMY, CO-FOUNDER OF HOMEGROWN NATIONAL PARK. Co-sponsored by the City of Rye Sustainability Committee. Why do native trees matter? How can we create a homegrown national park in our own backyards or local municipalities? What are other organizations doing to increase biodiversity on their campuses? Start the day with networking and tours of the award-winning Jay Estate Gardens followed by lunch and a keynote talk by best-selling author and entomologist Doug Tallamy. Co-sponsored by the City of Rye Sustainability Committee and Larchmont-Mamaroneck Pollinator Pathway. Funding generously provided by Con Edison. Registration link to come. Read more here.

WAITLIST ONLY!  APRIL 16 at 11:30 AM – IKEBANA DEMONSTRATION WITH JUDITH HATA. Hata has been teaching ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging, in the New York area for over 60 years. She holds the rank of Riji, the highest teacher’s degree in the Sogetsu School, having learned her art directly under Sofu Teshigahara, founder of the Sogetsu School, and then under his daughter and successor, Kasumi Teshigahara. The inspiration for Sogetsu is to “enjoy ikebana anytime, anywhere, using any material” and through her journey, she has discovered 花ありて友あり – ”where there are flowers, there are friends”. Mrs. Hata founded the New York Branch of Sogetsu in 1971, serving as director, president and other positions for more than 50 years. Mrs. Hata served on the Board of Directors of the Horticultural Society of New York and the Committee for the New York Flower Shows, and through the years taught from upstate New York to Philadelphia and points in between including at the Parsons School of Design, The Brooklyn Botanical Garden, The New York Botanical Garden, and The Nippon Club among many others. READ MORE HERE
FEBRUARY 18 at 3pm Why Did the Japanese Internment Camps Happen with Grant Ujifusa and Kermit Roosevelt. Grant Ujifusa, a noted author and historian who is widely recognized for his instrumental role in the Japanese American redress movement of the 1980’s will speak with Prof. Kermit Roosevelt III considered by many to be “the top scholar in the constitutional aspects of the internment.” They will discuss how the camps happened and how reparations were brought about including the importance of the life story of Nisei World War II hero Kaz Masuda. This program is co-sponsored by the Japan Society of Greater Fairfield County. Pre-registration required. Ujifusa, a 1965 graduate of Harvard College, is the founding editor and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics, originally published in 1972 and still published today. The book has been described as “the bible of American politics.” Ujifusa’s familiarity with the workings of Washington lawmaking made him an ideal strategist in the fight for the passage of HR 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which was ultimately signed by President Ronald Reagan on Aug. 10, 1988. Read more here
FEBRUARY 29 at 11:30AM – 1:30PM BLACK HISTORY IN NEW YORK, WESTCHESTER AND RYE. For more than 20 years, the Jay Heritage Center has hosted dynamic educational programs about Black History. Through exhibits and conversations with nationally and locally recognized authors, historians and scholars like Annette Gordon-Reed, Alan Taylor, Dr. Larry Spruill,  Joseph McGill, David Thomas, David Mills, Harold Holzer, Kerri Greenidge and more it has been our goal to continually explore our nation’s complicated and resilient narratives together. We invite you to stop in for a lunchtime lesson at the Jay Mansion. Discover the many landmark sites on New York State’s Path Through History and Westchester County’s African American Heritage Trail including our own where the real-life stories of African American women and men, enslaved and freed, like Caesar Valentine, Mary, and Clarinda continue to be vigorously researched and shared. The free program will include a tour of JHC’s exhibit Hidden Soldiers. Bring your own lunch and we will provide beverages and dessert. Registration link to come.

MARCH 3 at 3pm –The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley: A Poet’s Journeys Through American Slavery and Independence with David Waldstreicher Help us welcome back David Waldstreicher, a historian of early and nineteenth-century America with particular interests in political history, cultural history, slavery and antislavery, and print culture. David has previously spoken at JHC – his talk was titled “Another View of the American Revolution – African Americans Hear the Call to Freedom.” The program is free but pre-registration is required. Click here to register.  The New York Times, in a recent feature on the book and Waldstreicher, described his willingness to put Wheatley “smack in the middle of the raging debate over the relationship between the American Revolution and slavery,” and praised his achievement in not only “tracing her life” but “also recreat[ing] the18th-century intellectual world Wheatley actually lived in.” The Odyssey of Phillis Wheatley has also received rave reviews from Oprah, which called it a “rich and necessary book.” Read more here.



No experience necessary. Learn how to differentiate between native and invasive species throughout the growing season. Acquire proficiency in identifying plants and pollinators. Help harvest fresh food for Meals on Main Street on a weekly basis.This is a great way to make new friends while also acquiring horticulture experience from planting seeds, to weeding or growing herbs and vegetables. Volunteers have regular appreciation gatherings and more bespoke educational classes. You will also receive your own Jay Estate Gardens Newsletter to stay connected. Corporate groups welcome! Special thanks to our returning youth groups from the African American Men of Westchester‘s Environmental Committee, Blue Skies at Christ Church, Rye Presbyterian Youth and the Port Chester Youth Bureau. Join us for orientation led by JHC’s Director of Horticulture and Garden Education. Email Lucia Maestro for more information.


April 7 - October 31

Thursdays, 10am-2pm;  Sundays, 10am-5pm except holidays. Starting Sunday, April 7, until Thursday, October 31, the award-winning Jay Estate Gardens will be open to the public two days a week. Enjoy docent led experiences or follow a self-guided tour following our QR code signs. Drop in for a lesson, talks, and workshops led by JHC’s Director of Horticulture and Garden Education, Lucia Maestro and special guest speakers. Email Lucia Maestro for more information or to volunteer in the gardens. FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC


Sunday, September 29, 12 - 4pm

Jay Day is our classic fall family festival! In the past we’ve had live a cappella performances by the Yale Spizzwinks and music by Citigrass plus amazing face painters, pony rides and a petting zoo from Bronx Equestrian. Stilt walkers & jugglers provide super photo ops for the whole family! Guests snack on nibbles from food truck vendors like Crazy Taco Mex, Leila’s Empanadas, and Jimmy’s Soft Serve ice cream, and they’ve learned about archaeology with Dr. Eugene Boesch. Hold artifacts in your own hands–from 4,000-year-old projectile points to an 18th century slate pencil used by one of Rye’s earliest students! See photos from last year’s event here. Would you like to help with Jay Day 2024 as a volunteer or be a participating vendor or food truck? Email