Leonardo’s Children’s Museum has received a $50,000 commitment from Koch Fertilizer to reach its $6 million capital campaign goal.  “A donation of this magnitude qualifies Koch Fertilizer for a naming opportunity, and they have elected to become part of the hands-on agriculture exhibit,” said Julie Baird, Leonardo’s executive director.

The agriculture exhibit will be constructed as part of Phase 2 of construction, which will start in the fall.  “Agriculture is at the heart of what we do at Koch Fertilizer, and that’s why promoting an understanding of agriculture at a young age is such a high priority for our company,” said Marc Hoss, plant manager at Koch Fertilizer Enid. “We are pleased to support Leonardo’s Children’s Museum in their efforts to educate and engage the region’s next generation.”

“I am elated and humbled to report that we have reached our monetary goal,” said Susan Bowers, campaign co-chair. “It has truly been a labor of love. To date, approximately 475 individuals, businesses, organizations and foundations have chosen to be part of this worthy effort, which will enrich and inspire thousands of children and families in the coming years.”

Even though Leonardo’s has reached the $6 million goal, a few needs remain.  “Since the construction is taking place in a building that is almost 110 years old, there have been several surprises that had to be updated or fixed, so we are continuing to accept donations,” Bowers said. “We believe it will actually cost between $6.1 million and $6.2 million to do everything. We are committed to doing it right for Enid’s children.”

Leonardo’s began construction of Phase 1 in August. It includes new permanent exhibits on the museum’s first floor, new and refreshed exhibits on the second floor and an exterior facelift. The museum is scheduled to reopen in April. Phase 2 construction, which includes the rest of the second floor (Pretend City, military base, agriculture area, grocery store and art gallery) will begin this fall and will be completed in the spring of 2017. The museum will not have to close again for the second phase of construction.

“All of us at Leonardo’s are also very excited to develop this partnership with Koch Fertilizer, one of Enid’s corporate leaders,” said Baird. “We anticipate that not only will the new agriculture exhibit help inform children about their food origins, and the role Koch and Enid play, it will also spur the development of educational outreach programming to use within our summer science camps, home school classes and Science Saturday classes about the important role that fertilizer plays in feeding the world.”

Limited naming opportunities still are available. For information about making a personal or corporate gift to the campaign, contact Baird, jbaird@leonardos.org or call (580) 237-0009, extension 103.

Story by: Enid News & Eagle