Albert and Nancy Nicholas have announced a $10 million endowment for the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens.
The endowment, through the Nicholas Family Foundation, will allow the Conservatory & Gardens to expand exhibit offerings and aid in the continued transformation of the Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens grounds, which act as a continued catalyst for riverfront development.
“The Rockford Park District is very appreciative and honored to receive this endowment; funding will support expanded programming, bring new and world-renowned exhibits to Rockford, and make sure the facility, inside and out, is being maintained at the highest level possible, so generation after generation has a special place to enjoy,” said Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens Facility Manager Kelly Moore.
In addition to the endowment, Albert and Nancy gifted $250,000 in 2015 that allowed Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens to complete necessary projects before the endowment funds become available. In 2016, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens will begin to receive the annual earnings from the established endowment.
The distribution of funds will provide support for enhanced programming, maintenance, and horticulture projects, both inside Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, and on the campus that is maintained by the Rockford Park District. The endowment is in addition to the Conservatory’s operational budget, which funds daily operational costs including general maintenance, programming, staff, and operations of the Conservatory.
“The district is committed to being good stewards of public funds, which support not only daily operations at the Conservatory, but every area of operation at the Rockford Park District. We are very grateful for the community’s continued confidence in this tropical treasure, and are thankful for the generosity of Ab and Nancy Nicholas, along with the many donors and partners over the years,” says Executive Director Tim Dimke.
— Conservatory receives $10 million endowment from Nicholas Foundation —