RYE, N.Y. -- The Jay Heritage Center was awarded $500,000 to restore 1.5 acres of historic gardens at the landmark Jay Estate on Boston Post Road in Rye.
The center was one of 118 organizations in the Mid-Hudson area of New York State to be awarded funding in Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council grant process. The awards are part of an economic stimulus initiative launched by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011 to better serve municipalities, local businesses, non-profits and other enterprises, create jobs and promote tourism. The Mid-Hudson region was awarded $82.8 million dollars in grants and tax-credits. Jay Heritage Center received the maximum amount available under the aegis of New York State's Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The grant follows a landmark private-public partnership forged between the state agency, Westchester County Parks and Jay Heritage Center last year. The agreement signed in 2013 awarded stewardship of the 23 acre Jay Estate to the non-profit JHC which has plans to transform the park into a premier educational and heritage tourism destination.
Heritage Center President Suzanne Clary expressed her thanks to Cuomo and members of the Regional Economic Development Council for the half-million dollar matching grant and the commitment to historic preservation that it represents.
“We are proud to have received this significant award which will help us reclaim 1.5 acres of vital green spaces for public access and use," Clary said. "These gardens will be vibrant outdoor classrooms for the hands-on study of horticulture, American history, social justice, archaeology and much more at the childhood home of John Jay in Rye. Our goal to educate remains the same but is now re-invigorated by this investment. We hope to inspire young people to understand, preserve and protect our shared heritage, natural and man-made - to become future historians, civic advocates and stewards of our fragile cultural and environmental resources.”