For Immediate Release: May 24, 2022

Contact:  Martha Swan, Executive Director

518-744-7112 |


John Brown Lives! Receives Grant to Develop Strategic Plan


Westport, NY – John Brown Lives! (JBL!) was awarded a $26,500 matching grant from the Environmental Protection Fund’s Park and Trail Partnership Grants program to embark on a strategic planning process that will usher JBL! to greater effectiveness and ensure its continuance serving the public as a freedom education and human rights project and the Friends Group of the John Brown Farm State Historic Site.  JBL! will have to raise an additional $4,000 in matching funds, for a total project budget of $30,500.


The grant is one of 27 awards totaling $900,000 for organizations dedicated to the stewardship and promotion of New York’s state parks and historic sites, trails, and public lands. The grants will be matched with private and local funding and will support projects to strengthen Friends groups and enhance public access and recreational opportunities.


Friends groups—nonprofit organizations often made up entirely of volunteers—are essential to the stewardship and promotion of our state park system. These dedicated groups raise private funds for capital projects, perform maintenance tasks, provide educational programming, and promote public use through hosting special events.


The Park and Trail Partnership Grants are administered by Parks & Trails New York, a statewide non-profit organization, in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.


“John Brown Lives! is grateful to Parks &Trails New York and the state Office of Parks for their support of our work to uncover and share the neglected history of the Adirondacks as a base for the abolition of slavery and for voting rights for all New Yorkers,” said JBL! Board Chair Jeff Jones.


Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, “With more and more people discovering the outdoors, and visitation to our parks, trails, and public lands soaring, the need for strong public/public partnerships has never been greater. The Park and Trail Partnership Grants help bolster the role of Friends groups in these vital partnerships.”


“There are precious few places on the American landscape that are a true testament to the espoused belief that all people are created equal,” said Martha Swan, Executive Director of John Brown Lives! “But the humble Adirondack homestead of abolitionists John and Mary Brown has been one such place for over 160 years.


“Thus, JBL! and the John Brown Farm have a responsibility to facilitate teaching, learning and dialogue about what the late James O. Horton described as ‘slavery’s diversity, longevity, complexity, and centrality’ and to engage the public in addressing its many lasting reverberations and manifestations in our society today.”


John Brown Lives! (JBL!) is a non-profit freedom education and human rights project that brings communities together using history, education, advocacy, and the arts to address critical issues of our time.  The official NYS Friends Group of the John Brown Farm State Historic Site, JBL! strives for the Farm to be recognized, supported, and visited as a site of conscience and a place for teaching, reflection, discovery, and dialogue for Adirondack residents and visitors of all ages.


To view a list of all Round 7 awardees, please visit:


More information on Park and Trail Partnership Grants can be found at or by calling 518-434-1583.