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.


We aim to inspire everyone to embrace sustainable landscaping practices.

The Crail Ranch gardens are intended to:

- 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

Water wise grassed areas, comprised of native Idaho fescue, complement the four gardens. Aldo Leopold style benches, made from yellow cedar, provide beautiful rest and reflection opportunities for visitors. Youngsters were not forgotten and are invited to enjoy a kid’s bench made from an invasive Russian olive tree.










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.

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!

  • 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 2021 by

Gallatin Invasive Species Alliance

Tel: 406.209.0905

Email: info@gallatinisa.org