"You cannot hand the world to your children and grandchildren in worse shape than you received it." - Sally Brown
During her 100 years, Sara "Sally" Shallenberger Brown held countless positions in Kentucky and beyond. Chief among these was Brown's interest in preserving and protecting lands and waters for future generations. Her interest in Kentucky started in 1935 when she set down roots in Kentucky to raise four children with husband W.L. Lyons Brown, chairman of Brown-Forman Corporation.
"I had never seen anything like those gorgeous rocks," Brown said after seeing the landscape's 450-million-year-old limestone cliffs for the first time. A determined lady by nature, she decided to mobilize ways to protect them. In the midst of pursuing her goal to protect the Palisades, Brown discovered The Nature Conservancy, eventually becoming a member of its national Board of Governors in 1973 and later joining other Kentuckians to form what would become the Kentucky Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in 1975. Throughout the years, the chapter expanded and evolved into one of Kentucky's best environmental conservation organizations. One thing remained the same - Brown's unwavering support of the Conservancy's work and mission.
Her passion and persistent fundraising combined with the Conservancy's expertise in acquiring conservation lands resulted in the establishment of the 632-acre Sally Brown Nature Preserve. Brown went on to earn the Conservancy's Oak Leaf Award, an honor bestowed once every two or three years to an individual whose volunteer efforts contribute significantly to the cause of conservation.
Sadly, Brown passed away in 2011. However, her legacy lives on through the Brown Family. Today, family members from two generations actively support the Nature Conservancy, both in Kentucky and beyond. For over three generations, family members have partnered with the Conservancy on numerous conservation initiatives, lending support and expertise wherever needed. Known throughout Kentucky for their philanthropic endeavors, the family's support of conservation has remained steadfast throughout the years.
Brown-Forman Corporation, one of the nation's largest distilleries was founded by the Brown family and remains one of the Conservancy's largest corporate supporters. Their unwavering support has lasted for more than 36 years.