The Levy Preserve is now a member institution of the Ecological Restoration Alliance of Botanic Gardens (ERA), an international consortium of botanic gardens actively engaged in ecological restoration. Our conservation work in the area of Caribbean Dry Forest Restoration in The Bahamas fulfilled the requirements and we join a growing number of botanic gardens and arboreta devoted to restoration.
The majority of the islands with Caribbean Dry Forest are small and/or very narrow. Caribbean Dry Forest is an ecosystem under extreme threat due to its relatively small habitat area and a long history of human alteration for farming and resource extraction. While the Caribbean region is considered a biodiversity hotspot, natural areas continue to be degraded with a concurrent loss in biodiversity. As an ecosystem it is considered to be globally rare and endangered.
The establishment of the Levy Preserve was a significant step toward native forest restoration in The Bahamas and the expansion of our native plant nursery builds capacity for future restoration projects. The Preserve’s past collaboration with the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas’ sculpture garden using native trees, and the launch of the “Adopt a Native Tree” School Program on Eleuthera highlight the importance of returning otherwise degraded or damaged areas to their natural conditions.