Nature & Gardens

The Foundation supports organizations that cultivate and maintain botanical gardens and parks, mainly in the New York area, as well as those whose primary goal is to protect natural landscapes and wildlife habitats, especially for birds.


The New York Botanical Garden

Foundation grants aid a variety of initiatives throughout the Garden’s 250 acres, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. Most recently, the Foundation gave $15 million to create a 3.5-acre Native Plant Garden that will serve as a center for the study and display of plants native to the northeastern U. S. The Foundation also supports the Leon Levy Visitor Center at the Garden’s main entrance, which was established with a 2004 gift.


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Prospect Park

With a ten million dollar grant from the Foundation, Prospect Park has completed Phase I of the restoration of its 26-acre Lakeside Center to the original design of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. The newly reconstructed Music Island and Esplanade opens to the public on October 20, 2012. The Foundation also funded multi-year initiative to improve the care and pruning of trees throughout the park which allowed the park to catch up on years of needed maintenance for its important collection of trees. 


© Wayne Lankinen, Courtesy Boreal Songbirds Initiative

Bird Conservation

Working with the top organizations in bird conservation, the Foundation supports efforts to protect wild birds and their habitats and to develop the strong science necessary to make the case for conservation measures that would reverse the decline of bird populations in North America. MORE>>

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Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve

The Foundation in conjunction with the Bahamas National Trust  has developed the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, a 25 acre site on Eleuthera. The primary focus of the Preserve is to raise the awareness of Bahamian plant diversity and bush medicine. It will serve as a center for environmental education. The Preserve includes a visitor’s center and an education center. The Preserve opened in March, 2011.

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Founded in 1910, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a 52 acre site in the heart of Brooklyn,  is committed to education, research and the display of horticulture. To expand and restore gardens and improve amentities to welcome visitors, the Garden  has launched the Campaign for the Next Century. The Foundation has committed to the Campaign with support for the creation of a new Water Garden and other projects to improve the Garden.

Westchester Land Trust

In 2005, with major support from the Jerome Levy Foundation, the Westchester Land Trust purchased a 386-acre property in the town of Lewisboro, N.Y.,  to create the Leon Levy Preserve.  The Trust holds a conservation easement on the land that makes the entire Preserve available to the public for passive recreational enjoyment.  Its many walking trails take visitors past extensive wetlands, a ravine with 25-foot cliffs, the ruins of a turn-of-the-century mansion, vast hardwood forests, and vistas looking west across the Hudson River. Approximately 90 acres lie within the watershed of New York City’s Croton Reservoir system, and the rest of the land drains into the reservoirs of Stamford, Ct.


Institute for Advanced Study

As a leading center for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry in science and the humanities, the IAS in Princeton has strived to provide a beautiful, tranquil environment conducive to the original, even speculative thinking needed to advance knowledge. With funds from the Foundation, the IAS is landscaping its 800-acre campus.