Voice of the River

Support New Native Landscape at Crail Ranch

By Emily Casey, Water Conservation Coordinator

It’s no secret that Big Sky’s native landscapes are beautiful. However, our community’s current landscaping practices don’t tend to match what we see on trails and open spaces. Plants and lawns with high water requirements move us further from the drought-tolerant, cold-hardy, and fire-wise native species that thrive in our area.

The Task Force and partners, Crail Ranch, Big Sky Community Organization, Gallatin Invasive Species Alliance, and Big Sky Water and Sewer District, have teamed up to build Big Sky’s first ever native plant demonstration garden at Crail Ranch. The garden will prioritize native plants that are wildlife and pollinator-friendly while utilizing water-wise landscaping strategies to better preserve the historic landscape.

We can’t do it without your help. Learn how to support here.

inspire – educate – motivate

This demonstration garden will educate residents, students, and visitors about sustainable gardening, showcase water savings over time, and enhance the Ranch’s natural heritage. Join us Saturday, March 9 from 12 – 2 PM at Crail Ranch to learn more about the project, including ways to support and volunteer while you enjoy some hot cocoa!

This is a schematic of the landscape plan made for this project, an essential planning tool for the garden to be successful. Careful site and soil analysis, outreach to nearby homeowners, plant selection from experts in the field, and irrigation needs were strategized before any ground broke for the project. Emphasis was placed on how water will be used once completed and long after for maintenance. These are elements we call water-wise landscape principles, which are outlined in the Task Force’s upcoming guidebook ‘Big Sky Water Wise Landscape Guide’. Look out for the guide this spring!

Help Us Grow Native

The partners have done an awesome job to support the project so far. We have raised about half the funds needed to implement the garden, walkways, benches, grass areas, and vegetable garden this summer through direct partner contributions, in-kind contributions from local businesses, and local grant awards.

Now, we need your help. This community space will celebrate the plants that are adapted to thrive in Big Sky without relying on intensive and artificial irrigation practices. Consider supporting the native demonstration garden here.

We have options available to fit all levels of support.

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