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Rye's Jay Heritage Center Raises $1.35M For Its Gardens

Thomas Woltz speaks to an audience of 160. Photo Credit: Cutty McGill
Alexa Hampton autographs copies of her recent book. Photo Credit: Cutty McGill

RYE, N.Y. — Rye's Jay Heritage Center (JHC) held its Hearth & Earth Luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 18, entertaining more than 160 guests and raising $1.35 million for garden restorations.

Speakers for the event were Alexa Hampton, president of Mark Hampton LLC, and Thomas L. Woltz, principal owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.

Both spoke about the importance of designing and restoring landscapes locally, across the country and beyond.

Woltz spoke in detail about previous restorations and his company's upcoming work on the Jay Gardens in Rye.

The initiative to create public park space at John Jay's childhood home won a prestigious $500,000 Regional Economic Development Council Award and received $350,000 in additional donations.

The duo also signed copies of their books, "Decorating in Detail" and "Garden Park Community Farm."

JHC Vice President Michael A. Kovner was honored for his lifetime passion for preservation, receiving the center's annual Preservation Award. Along with his husband, Jean Doyen de Montaillou, Kovner also donated $150,000 toward completing the gardens.

The Jay Heritage Center is located at 210 Boston Post Road in Rye. For more information, call (914) 698-9275 or email

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