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Land acquired for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library

Tom Stromme, Bismarck Tribune

The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation has purchased 90.3 acres of land from the US Forest Service.

"This transaction completes an 18-month process that began when the T. R. Library received Congressional approval to acquire the land for construction of the library," said Foundation CEO Edward O'Keefe.

The library will be built in Medora.

O'Keefe said plans are to have a ceremonial groundbreaking in 2023.

"We anticipate about two and a half years of major construction," O'Keefe said. "We expect the building to be substantially complete by 2025."

O'Keefe said the plans call for the Library to be open on July 4, 2026.

"That's the 250th anniversary of America and the Declaration of Independence," O'Keefe said.

The project also includes a plan to restore indigenous plants to the Library’s outdoor spaces. O'Keefe said the Foundation is cooperating with NDSU on that part of the project.

"The Native Plant Project will collect and cultivate seeds to increase the diversity of native North Dakota Badlands prairie, including rare and endangered plants," O'Keefe said. "This summer, students, community volunteers and ecology professionals are collecting seeds for the Library landscape from across the Little Missouri Badlands region, including Roosevelt's own Maltese Cross Cabin and the Elkhorn Ranch property."

O’Keefe said the Foundation has exceeded its $100 million fundraising goal, and fundraising continues. He said the Foundation is now able to access the $50 million the Legislature set aside for continued maintenance of the library. O'Keefe said within the next few months, the foundation will hold a public meeting in Medora, to present its plan for the development of the Library.

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