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Lecture Targets Lewisboro’s Levy Preserve Improvements

The Leon Levy Preserve lecture will be held at the Carriage House of the Waccabuc Country Club.
The Leon Levy Preserve lecture will be held at the Carriage House of the Waccabuc Country Club. Photo Credit: Bob Dumas

WACCABUC, N.Y. – The Westchester Land Trust will present a lecture at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, titled “The Great Estates of Northern Westchester and Their Contribution to Conservation,” which organizers hope will precipitate an effort to restore property and trails on the Leon Levy Preserve.

The talk, which will be held at the Waccabuc Country Club’s Carriage House, will include the history of the Black Mansion, now in ruins, built by James Craft in the mid-1890s and located on the Levy Preserve, a 380-acre property owned by the town of Lewisboro.

The Westchester Land Trust (WLT), Lewisboro, the Lewisboro Land Trust and the Jerome Levy Foundation are collaborating on projects to restore the Black Mountain ruins and carriage trails, construct parking for public access and launch a Friends of the Preserve group to increase access and use of  the Leon Levy Preserve.

WLT holds a conservation easement on the Preserve, which includes important wildlife and vegetation and provides watershed protection for the Cross River Reservoir and New York City drinking water.

Author and historian Alex Shoumatoff will present the history of the great estates of northern Westchester, particularly South Salem, and how these estates influenced local conservation efforts. Philip Kunhardt, a speaker, author and historian, will introduce the program.

The lecture is sponsored by WLT, Lewisboro Land Trust, and the town of Lewisboro through a gift from the Jerome Levy Foundation.

Shoumatoff is the author of “Westchester, Portrait of a Count,” and is a senior editor and regular contributor to Vanity Fair . He was born and raised in Bedford and his interest in environmental journalism and history was formed by the landscape and outdoor life he knew as a boy.

Kunhardt has spent the past 20 years exploring the lives and accomplishments of pivotal figures from American history. As an author and a producer for PBS and other networks, he has helped create several historical documentaries and written companion books to accompany them. Kunhardt also has co-authored two books on Abraham Lincoln – a best-selling biography and an extensive look at his legacy – and in the Lincoln bicentennial year is currently working on a third.

The event is free and high tea will be served. RSVP to Grace@Westchesterlandtrust.org . The Carriage House is located at Waccabuc Country Club on Mead Street in Waccabuc.

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