Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve
The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve is a 30 acre world-class, botanic garden in Governor's Harbor Eleuthera. It’s a wonderful and lush showcase of native and endemic Bahamian plants and is the first and only national park on the island. It was created in memory of the late Leon Levy and was founded by his wife Shelby White. It serves as a display for traditional bush medicine, a facility for the propagation of indigenous plants and trees, and an educational center focusing on the importance of native vegetation to the biodiversity of The Bahamas.
Boardwalks and Trails
There are access boardwalks and trails in this park.
This park has high bird activity.
This park has suitable grounds to host an event.
This park is a popular tourist attraction.
This park has a visitor’s center.
This park has an active warden.
World Class Botanic Garden.
In April 2019, the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve became the first institution in The Bahamas to be designated as an accredited Botanic Garden by Botanic Gardens Conservation International. This tier of accreditation recognized institutions for their achievements in plant conservation.To receive this distinguished designation, a botanic garden must have: documented collections, public access, an education program, research capacity, and a long-term strategic plan, among other things
Highlights of touring the Preserve include:
The Vision of Shelby White.
The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve is the fulfillment of the vision of longtime residents Leon Levy and Shelby White, who loved the natural environment and way of life on Eleuthera. After Leon Levy’s passing in 2003, Shelby White wanted to celebrate her husband’s devotion to the island while contributing to a better future for all Eleuthera. Shelby was originally inspired to create the Preserve during a visit to the Retreat Garden in New Providence.
Working with the Bahamas National Trust, she helped establish a native plant preserve that would be for the benefit of the local community as a special place to conserve the natural beauty of Eleuthera and preserve cultural heritage such as the use of native plants in bush medicine.
Shelby White next to Levy Preserve Sign
Today the Levy Preserve plays an important part of The Bahamas national park system. Bahamians and visitors can now walk miles of trails through the native habitat, and view the beautiful orchids, birds, insects, medicinal plants, and the hardwood trees that played an important role in the history of the island.
As an outdoor classroom, students can learn about the native Bahamian terrestrial environment and the creatures that inhabit it.