We teamed up to build a

demonstration garden at

Crail Ranch using native plants that are wildlife friendly,

water wise, and preserving

of the historic landscape.

inspire - educate - conserve

This demonstration garden will educate residents, students,

and visitors about sustainable gardening, showcase water savings over time and enhance the Ranch's natural heritage.

Thank you to our partners, funders, donors, and volunteers for helping us build our garden!

Beth MacFawn Landscape Design
Big Sky Community Organization
Big Sky Landscaping
Big Sky Owners Association
Big Sky Resort Tax
Big Sky Water & Sewer

Big Timberworks

Cross Charitable Foundation

Gallatin Canyon Women's Club
Gallatin Conservation District

 Gallatin River Task Force

Gallatin Waterworks

Great Bear Native Plants

Historic Crail Ranch
Meadowview II LLC
Moonlight Community Foundation
Quarry Works

Rotary Club of Big Sky
Spanish Peaks Community Foundation
Westscape Nursery
Yellowstone Club Community Foundation

We want to send a special thanks to our bench and garden sponsors!

Yellowstone Club Community Foundation

Big Sky Owners Association

Rotary Club of Big Sky

Spanish Peaks Community Foundation

Gallatin Conservation District

Cross Charitable Foundation

Steve & Rhonda Karl

Donate to help us maintain our native garden & grow wild!

Origins of the Gardens at Crail Ranch

In 2017, the caretaker of the small flower garden at Crail Ranch reached out to the Alliance for expert assistance on weed and flower identification. During the site visit, it was determined about half of the plants in the flower garden were invasive species.

Talks about revitalizing and improving the garden began, with a focus on native species. Once word spread, other local groups expressed interest in helping with the project due to similar mission and goals of sustainable land and water stewardship. The project has grown from improving one small garden, to improving the entire landscape area at Crail Ranch.

Historic Crail Ranch is a tangible reminder of the life of the earliest European settlers of the Big Sky area. This garden showcases the native species that the pioneers would have found in the landscape.

Sticky Geranium

Garden Goals

The purpose of this project is to reintroduce native vegetation into the area and restore the site from invasive weeds, while providing educational opportunities for visitors and community members to embrace sustainable gardening and landscaping practices.

- Showcase water conservation

- Provide pollinator habitat

- Enhance biodiversity

- Demonstrate sustainable landscapes can be beautiful

- Enhance a historic site

- Complement the many conservation efforts already underway

The final native demonstration garden will consist of four gardens, with scattered perimeter plantings, comprised of appropriate native species well suited to the site and Big Sky environment. Two unique benches made from yellow cedar will provide beautiful rest and reflection opportunities for visitors.

  • Fleebane

    Native Plants

    • Improve water conservation

    • Reduce soil erosion, build soil structure, and absorb rainfall

    • Resist local pests and disease

    • Require less water, and no fertilizer

    • Are preferred by native birds, wildlife and pollinators for food and shelter

    • Preserve natural heritage and biodiversity

    • Enhance real estate values

  • Native Roots

    The deep root systems of many native plants:

    • increase the soil’s capacity to store water

    • significantly reduces water runoff

    • stabilizes soil at risk of erosion

    • allow plants to access nutrients in deeper soil profiles

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    Water Conservation

    The garden implements Xeriscape principles:

    •  comprehensive planning & design

    •  soil improvements

    •  practical turf areas

    • efficient irrigation (low flow emitters) & use of grey water

    • mulch & amendments

    • low water use native plants

    • appropriate maintenance

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    Want to Grow Native?

    Visit our "Grow Native" page to get information on water wise landscaping, selecting native plants and more. Click on image above to get inspired to grow wild!

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    List of Plants

    Curious what native plants were selected for the gardens? Click on image above to see what we planted in 2019. More species to come in 2020!

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    Click on image above if you are interested in helping with The Gardens at Crail Ranch! We'll add your name to our e-list and notify you of upcoming work days, educational events and garden celebrations! 

© Copyright 2020 by

Gallatin Invasive Species Alliance

Tel: 406.209.0905

Email: info@gallatinisa.org