If Don Vitko's amazing cactus collection can't stay in Minot, moving it to a new facility at the International Peace Garden is the next best thing.
Vitko's collection, which he began in the 1960s, has grown to more than 5,200 different cacti. It's being housed in a 4,000-square foot greenhouse in Minot, but Vitko has been searching for a permanent home for his collection for years.
The Souris River Botanical Conservatory group has worked hard for years to raise enough money to build a home for the collection in Minot, but it simply hasn't happened. Plans to build a conservatory haven't materialized, and discussions about a joint project with the Roosevelt Park Zoo also didn't come to fruition. So Vitko had little choice to but find a permanent home for his growing collection elsewhere.
Roughly half of Vitko's collection will be moved to a new 3,000-square foot greenhouse at the Peace Garden. Officials at the Peace Garden plan to expand the building where the collection will be housed, creating enough room for the entire collection in the next few years.
It's a bit of a loss for Minot, but Vitko's collection wasn't really accessible to the public in its current facility. Moving to a grand home at the Peace Garden will be fitting for such a magnificent collection, which Vitko says is the most extensive one in the United States. It deserves to be properly displayed, and moving it to the Peace Garden will make that a reality.