The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve Completes Phase Three of Multi-Phase Development
Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera – January 9th, 2024
The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (LLNPP) – a distinguished botanic garden and the first national park on Eleuthera – has completed Phase Three of its development with the construction of new administrative, science, and educational facilities on the property.
A recent opening ceremony at the national park marked this milestone, with The Preserve founder Shelby White, Minister of Public Works & Family Island Affairs and Member of Parliament for South and Central Eleuthera the Hon. Clay Sweeting, Leon Levy Foundation President Meredith Moss, BNT partners, local government, donors, staff, and community members in attendance.
The Bahamas’ premier botanical institution, the Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve is an internationally accredited regional leader in plant conservation and research. Nestled within the heart of Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera, this natural gem was the first national park established on the island, and has been open to the public since 2011. Created in honour of Shelby’s late husband Leon Levy to commemorate their shared love of Eleuthera’s beautiful landscape and traditional bush medicine culture, the 30-acre preserve protects and promotes appreciation for the natural heritage of the island and The Bahamas.
During the ceremony, The Preserve Founder Shelby White said: “You can have an idea, but without the incredible support of the BNT, and the people of Eleuthera, none of this would be possible. I am so grateful for all of the amazing people that helped to fulfill this vision. This is not our final phase, we will continue to grow and I hope everyone will join us on this incredible journey.”
The vision for the LLNPP always included a phased development. Phase Two added a lathhouse, a freshwater wetland display, an edible history section, and a weather station. Now, Phase Three’s completion will allow the renowned botanical garden to amplify its contributions to science, conservation, and education, both regionally and internationally. Phase Three saw the addition of a new office space, staff building, workshop and storage facilities, and a multipurpose building that can be used for various activities and events.
Minister Sweeting said: “The Levy Preserve is home to one of the most beautiful natural spaces on our island, and is carefully crafted to ensure that native flora and fauna thrive. Many celebrations have been held here and many visitors have walked her paths, gaining knowledge and appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us here on Eleuthera. Today we celebrate another milestone and I would like to express my gratitude to The Bahamas National Trust for their continuous efforts towards a sustainable Bahamas and I commend them for continuing to work along with the government and local stakeholders to ensure everyone is involved in preserving our environment. I would also like to thank Shelby White for her passion for Eleuthera, and our people, and look forward to the next phase of the Levy Preserve.”
BNT Executive Director Lakeshia Anderson-Rolle said: “This occasion not only marks the tremendous growth of the Levy Preserve but also signifies the Leon Levy Foundation’s enduring commitment to conservation and to the community here in Eleuthera. The Preserve has transformed remarkably over the years and has blossomed into a wonderful epicentre for education, conservation, and recreation.”
The Opening ceremony for Phase Three also officially launched ‘A Jewel of Tropical Botany’, a unique book chronicling the history of the LLNPP, available for the first time in print. Through it, readers will experience the vivid colors, diverse species, and rich stories that make The Preserve a living part of Bahamian history. Photographs, illustrations, and narratives come together to highlight the garden’s incredible flora and fauna, trails, and other exciting features. ‘A Jewel of Tropical Botany’ is an excellent resource for students and researchers, especially those interested in or studying horticulture, botany, or plant sciences; but anyone can enjoy this book.
‘A Jewel of Tropical Botany’ can be purchased at gift shops located in national parks throughout The Bahamas, including: the LLNPP in Eleuthera; The Retreat Garden and Primeval Forest in New Providence; The Rand Nature Centre in Grand Bahama; and The Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park Headquarters in Warderick Wells, Exuma.
The Opening ceremony concluded with a ribbon cutting, tour of the new facilities, and a reception at the Welcome Centre.
To learn more about The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, visit: levypreserve.org.
To learn more about the role the BNT plays in managing terrestrial and marine national parks, conserving wildlife, and informing environmental policy, please visit its website: www.bnt.bs and follow/subscribe to its various social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Media Contact: Leah Carr | email@example.com | (242) 429-7902
About the LLNPP:
Managed by The Bahamas National Trust (BNT), The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve (LLNPP) was founded in 2003 and officially opened its trails to the public in 2011. It is a 30-acre, internationally acclaimed botanical garden and a regional leader in plant conservation. Conceptualized and founded by Shelby White in honor of her late husband Leon Levy, the LLNPP preserves the natural heritage of Eleuthera and acts as a showcase for Bahamian biodiversity; a center for research and environmental education; and facility for the propagation and conservation of native plants.
About the BNT:
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) was created by an Act of Parliament in 1959 to build and manage the national park system of The Bahamas. Possibly the only non-governmental organization in the world charged with such a responsibility, the BNT works daily to conserve and protect the natural resources of The Bahamas through science, stewardship and education for present and future generations. There are currently 33 National Parks managed by the BNT with more than 2 million acres of marine and terrestrial areas protected.