West Tucsons Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum is now being recognized for their decades of work.This place is just incredibly special,” Executive Director Craig Ivanyi said.Theyre now also one of 30

finalists for the 2024 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

The museum west of Gates Pass is more of an immersion experience, with over two and a half miles of trails and multiple different museums.Were not trying to pretend we are somewhere else, were actually immersed in the region we represent,” Ivanyi said.The Sonoran desert covers over 100 thousand square miles of land, two countries, as well as seas and oceans.People think the Sonoran Desert is in between Tucson and Phoenix, but they dont realize a bulk of it is actually south of the border,” Ivanyi said.The museum opened in 1952 and now sees around 400,000 visitors a year.This is the first time it has been a finalist for this award.To be a finalist on a national basis, for a place people dont always think of because were on the other side of a mountain in Tucson, its just an amazing thing to be a part of,” Ivanyi said.The national medal winners will be announced in late May.