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Tucson Botanical Gardens: New Visitors’ Center & Exhibits

In September 2015, Tucson Botanical Gardens (TBG) celebrated the grand opening of its new Visitors Center and exhibit 

Nature Connects – Art with LEGO Bricks thanks, in part, to funding from the Nonprofit Loan Fund. Nature Connects – Art with LEGO Bricks featured 13 larger than life nature sculptures, including a giant hummingbird, that were made with as many as 65,000 individual LEGOs.

The new Visitors Center and major exhibits like Nature Connects – Art with LEGO Bricks are part of TBG’s strategy to ensure financial sustainability through membership growth and more visitor dollars spent at the Gardens and the Gift Shop. The new exhibit charmed children and adults alike during the four-month installation at the Gardens.

How NPLF Helped

TBG came to the Loan Fund last spring asking for bridge financing during the pledge phase of their capital campaign. The loan ensured that the Gardens could move forward and complete the new Visitors Center in time for the September 11, 2015 opening of the exhibit.

NPLF’s board approved a six-figure loan just one week after the initial meeting with TBG’s Michelle Conklin and her board. Like all loans funded by NPLF, this one was tailored specifically for TBG and structured to be affordable and flexible.

“The loan from NPLF made it possible for us to move forward with confidence on these major financial commitments,” said TBG’s Executive Director Michelle Conklin.