A public garden & cultural center

Education at Wave Hill

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Wave Hill’s Director of Education, Debra Lerer Epstein. Trained as botanist, she came to Wave Hill from the New York Botanical Garden, where she was Director of Children’s Education. In her six years at Wave Hill, Debra Epstein’s inspired leadership has nurtured and expanded Wave Hill’s educational offerings to families, schools and teachers, driven by her passion for opening young minds, and their families and teachers, to the transformative experience of the natural world. We deeply mourn her loss, and we celebrate the enduring course she has set for education at Wave Hill.


Since opening to the public almost 50 years ago, Wave Hill has been committed to fostering a connection between people and nature, providing hands-on learning experiences to help educate young people about the environment. Today, Wave Hill serves an ever-broadening audience of school children, from pre-K through high school, year-round.

Wave Hill’s glorious grounds offer the perfect setting for inspiring, instructor-led programs.  Art and history are woven into the educational experience in ways that reflect the unique nature of Wave Hill as both a public garden and cultural center. Our cross-curricular programs engage students with critical thinking, thoughtful observation and inquiry-based exploration to create meaningful engagement.

This year, recognizing that there can be many challenges for schools to bring a group to Wave Hill―particularly in the winter months―we are pleased to have been able to add offsite programs at individual schools.

Wave Hill continues to be at the forefront in working with teens. For more than 30 years, the Forest Project has offered paid, summer internships in the increasingly relevant discipline of woodland and urban ecology.  Wave Hill's Woodland Ecology Research Mentorship (WERM) program, generously funded by the Pinkerton Foundation, provides mentored research opportunities for high school students over a 14-month period.

We welcome your visits, questions and feedback in our continuing efforts to best serve our audience and keep pace with an always dynamic educational landscape.

Click here to download the press release for the Woodland Ecology Research Mentorship (WERM) program.

Education Programs for youth at Wave Hill are generously supported by the Barker Welfare Foundation, the Bay and Paul Foundations, Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation, Con Edison, The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, the New York State Education Department, the Pinkerton Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation.  Sustaining support for Wave Hill’s Educational Programming is provided by the Sally and Gilbert Kerlin Endowment Fund at Wave Hill for Environmental Science and Nature Education.