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Funds for Peace Garden a good sign

By Staff | May 15, 2009

One of the final pieces of legislation decided during the 61st state legislative assembly was funding for the construction an interpretive center at the International Peace Garden.

For several years garden officials have developed a plan to build a center, among other improvements. Lawmakers appropriated $1.85 million toward the project, and that action ensures the already-committed funds from Canada will remain in the proposed project.

With the legislature approving millions of dollars toward a new grandstand at the N.D. State Fairgrounds in Minot and renovation of the Heritage Center at the Capitol grounds in Bismarck, funds for the Peace Garden were also deserved.

Now in its 77th year, it’s one of the state’s treasures, a unique tourist attraction that straddles the border of two countries. However it is more than a floral spectacle. It is the home of the International Music Camp and hosts many special events throughout the year.

From a regional perspective, the garden brings thousands of visitors a year through Rugby and other communities in the north central region of the state. It’s a much-counted-on boost to the local economy, as many of those tourists will stop in Rugby, if only briefly, to fill up or grab a bite to eat.

From its beginnings, Rugby has had close ties to the Peace Garden. W. B. Paterson and his son, Edroy, were selected to construct the fieldstone cairn at the entrance. From that cairn, the garden grew westward.

The continued efforts to enhance the garden today will only make it an even bigger attraction, and it will continue to be an important draw to the region.

That’s good news for this region, and for the garden’s visitors who come from near and far to appreciate its beauty.

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