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Grant from Leichtag Foundation boosts efforts for new pavilion

ENCINITAS — The San Diego Botanic Garden recently received two major pieces of news that should boost its efforts to build a state-of-the-art events pavilion.

Garden officials announced the Leichtag foundation has pledged $1 million toward the estimated $4 million price tag of the proposed facility, which was recently named the Dickinson Family Education Pavilion.

They also announced that the Dickinson Foundation, which had given garden officials until year’s end to secure $3 million to receive a $1 million pledge from the foundation toward the facility, extended the deadline until Dec. 31, 2015.

“This tremendous grant awarded to us by our close friends and neighbors, the Leichtag Foundation, has helped the San Diego Botanic Garden to take a significant step towards making the Dickinson Family Education Pavilion a reality,” said Julian Duval, president and CEO of the San Diego Botanic Garden. “The Pavilion will enable us to expand our educational and experiential opportunities, which are currently limited by a shortage of indoor space, thereby allowing more people to experience the wonder of nature at the Garden and bring new knowledge and practices home with them.”

The proposed indoor pavilion would serve as the second phase of the garden’s Hamilton Children’s Garden. The proposed 5,900-square-foot space would provide meeting and event space for up to 400 people, which would quadruple the garden’s current meeting space.

Duval said the Leichtag grant will make rental space available to nonprofit groups that otherwise might no be able to utilize the space.

With the $1 million, and the $700,000 raised through the garden foundation’s “Grow With Us,” campaign, the garden only needs to raise $1.3 million more to secure the Dickinson challenge grant.

The remainder could come from the County of San Diego, which is currently in negotiations with the city and foundation to possibly purchase the 4.5 acres of city-owned land where the pavilion is slated to be built, which would allow the county to award grant funding toward the project. County rules don’t allow county grant money to be used on land not owned by the county.


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