Firewise demonstration garden in Montana City

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 10:43:17-04

HELENA — A firewise demonstration garden is coming together at the Montana City Volunteer Fire Department.

The Tri-County FireSafe Working Group and Montana City Volunteer Fire Department have partnered together to create a firewise demonstration garden. This garden utilizes 50-60 different species of vegetation that are primarily fire-resistant, deer resistant, and use small amounts of water. For example, the garden has plants such as snowberry, daylily, iris, phlox, and barberry. The garden is meant to educate the public as to what kind of plants and ground cover can be used in order to reduce wildfire risk to the home.

“And the whole idea is when a wildfire comes rolling in, that it's not going to come all the way to the home. That it'll drop to the ground. And the vegetation that we’re planting here and the way we're planting it here is to help people understand that,” says Lois Olsen, the Project Manager for the Firewise Demonstration Garden and board member of Tri-County FireSafe Working Group.

Fire Chief of the Montana City Volunteer Fire Department and Montana City Fire District Lyn Stimpson says that this garden is a great opportunity to demonstrate a firewise landscape.

“This project will really help us build awareness that homeowners always need to be thinking about that. Whether that's cleaning up and limbing up their existing trees or as they do new projects this is a great sample of some of the really attractive options they can do that are more firewise,” says Stimpson.

Putting this garden together has been a real community effort. Olsen says that 320 hours of volunteer work have already been donated. But more work needs to be done. They plan to put signs in for the vegetation, a pavilion, and a picnic table. With the right amount of volunteers and donations, they hope to be done in the Fall of this year.

“We're trying to do the kind of garden that you could visualize in your own home. So, if they're common plants, they're available, they're not expensive, and they grow well in our area,” says Olsen.

If you’d like to volunteer to this cause, you can find more information here: