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big sky, montana

What is Alpenscapes?

Alpenscapes is a Big Sky partnership that promotes beautiful, native and sustainable landscaping to reduce wildfire risk, decrease water use, and conserve native species.

This collaborative initiative combines the expertise of four Big Sky non-profit organizations to provide resources, knowledge, and support to property owners, property managers, landscape professionals, owner associations and others.

Our partnership is dedicated to ecological stewardship offering guidance and educational materials to help residents create appealing, lower-maintenance landscapes that exist in harmony with our unique mountain environment.

Through free resources, education, and community engagement, we work to achieve a thriving coexistence for people and nature.

Our Vision

Big Sky Fire, Big Sky SNO (Sustainability Network Organization), the Gallatin River Task Force (GRTF) and Grow Wild are working together to create a fire-safe, water-wise, and ecosystem-friendly future for Big Sky.

We see a Big Sky where every landscape is as beautiful as our surrounding environment and equally as sustainable. Alpenscapes aims to help the Big Sky community transform their landscapes with fire-resistant, water-wise designs that support wildlife and ensure a thriving environment for future generations to come.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Big Sky is at greater risk for wildfire than 93% of communities in the US
  • Water demand increases by 160% from July to September due to outdoor water use, making irrigation the highest user of community water in the summertime
  • Located within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Big Sky and its landscaping impacts one of the largest nearly intact ecosystems on Earth
  • In addition to climate change, invasive species are the second greatest threat to Yellowstone National Park. A 2019 study found that the introduction of invasive species has been the primary cause of plant and animal extinctions over the past 500 years.
  • Community surveys show that the majority of Big Sky residents:
    • Are interested in focusing on wildfire mitigation and risk reduction
    • Prioritize fish and aquatic life in water conservation
    • Highlight stream water quantity as a top concern
    • Recognize the threat of invasive species to the Gallatin River
    • Strongly support noxious weed management for natural resource protection

With changing climates, increased wildfire risk, threatened water quality and supply, the spread of invasive species, and ongoing development, Big Sky’s diverse alpine terrain requires a better approach than thirsty, maintenance-intensive lawns.

The Alpenscapes solution is simple: beautiful, native and sustainable landscaping that thrives in Big Sky, to help Big Sky thrive.

Big Sky’s diverse ecosystem makes it vulnerable to issues such as wildfires and water shortages. Historically popular landscaping practices, like traditional lawns and using non-native plant species, exacerbate these problems because they require excess water to maintain and increase wildfire risks to your home.

Having an Alpenscape-d yard does not mean going without a traditional lawn, but it does mean being smarter about what type of landscaping practices are used and taking into consideration the greater ecosystem. Using the Alpenscapes approach allows for more curb appeal, less maintenance, more functionality, less cost, more wildfire mitigation, and less water usage.

Start by engaging with our website and getting to know your environment. Alpenscapes provides a wealth of free resources and educational material to help you get started. When you’re ready, schedule a free site visit and we’ll send one of our experts to give you personalized advice and support.
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Ready to create a beautiful landscape that supports our breathtaking community? Connect with us today.

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The alpenscapes landscaping guidelines

Detailed information on everything from how to get started to how to maintain a thriving fire-safe, water-wise and ecosystem-friendly Big Sky landscape.

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