Leaving a Legacy:

"Montana truly is the last best place. Working together we can keep it that way."

~ Dr. Pat McGlynn, Founder of Legacy Land Design

For over 45 years I have taught people how to care for their land and their plants.

As a retired Professor, I have chosen to launch Legacy Land Design, in order to continue teaching and designing with the goal of sustaining the pristine beauty of the state of Montana. I am electing to work with individuals that want to learn and create a generational section of land. This can be in a development or a large acreage homestead.

“My passion is to teach the landowner the concepts they need to maintain the beauty and viability of their property for generations to come.”


While I was  the MSU Extension Agent for fourteen years in the Flathead, I was always helping people fix problems on their land that most of the time were preventable. There is so much to know about grazing livestock, proper nutrition for healthy hay fields, how to manage noxious weeds, how to avoid soil compaction, proper plant for the proper place and how to coexist with wildlife. 

 For over 45 years I have taught people how to care for their land and their plants. I started in the industry by working in, and managing, a third-generation garden center/landscape business. I always thought of my customer service as teaching. I taught people how to care for their lawns and how to choose the best grass seed; I taught them how to select shrubs and how to dig the hole properly; I taught them how to protect the environment by using fertilizers and pesticides correctly;  I wanted them to be successful.For seven years I operated a nonprofit, Farm on Wheels, Inc. I brought agriculture lessons into urban schools. My favorite quote has always been:

“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.” (Baba Dioum, 1968.)

I went to college in my 40’s and earned my masters and PhD in Education with a focus in agriculture from Cornell University. At Cornell, I was able to work on a number of international agriculture projects. In 2008, I was offered a position in Extension by Montana State University. I earned the rank of full professor over the years. I conducted horticulture research with the Flathead Cherry Growers, introduced cold hardy, hybrid wine grapes to Montana, conducted a hops research project that has culminated in my collaborator being exporter of the year with his Hopzoil in 2022, established an apple, pear and plum research trial in Columbia Falls at the Middle School and partnered with FVCC to start a dark fruit and berry trial at the school farm.I conducted this research while developing the agriculture extension position in Flathead County. 

There had been a 15 year vacancy before I came. Everyday, I helped residents care for their land, their trees, learn how to grow vegetables and orchards, how to live with wildlife and preserve the pristine beauty of Montana. I have taught hundreds of classes to thousands of residents. Some of my topics include – beekeeping, poultry management, livestock production, native pollinator gardens, attracting birds to the garden, Master Gardener Program, Land Stewardship Course, Marketing for farmers market producers, Curb Appeal for real estate agents, Basic plant science for primary teachers, establishing a public-school garden, noxious weed management, wildlife mitigation and more.

I retired from the university in September 2022. I am now available to work with people before they run into problems; to help them plan out their property for the highest rate of success. I wish to work with people that have a desire to leave a legacy for the generations that follow them. Montana truly is the last best place. Working together we can keep it that way.

Check out these articles on Dr. Pat's Career as an Extension Agent:

(click on an image to read)

“I enjoy helping people look at their entire piece of property and create a design that encompasses their dreams while adapting to the unique features of each parcel.”

My ethos

I feel that I have been a teacher all of my life. It could be being the oldest of five, I took it upon myself to teach the others anything that I learned. My passion for learning continues every day. The more I know, the more I know I don’t know. I love sharing knowledge to help others solve problems. I worked for over 20 years in a landscape/ nursery business on the east coast. Each time I learned how to compare grass seed, birdseed or decide on which fertilizer was best for lawns, I couldn’t wait to share this information with my customers. I didn’t just sell a product; I gave them a mini lesson to help them be better educated consumers. I owned and conducted a nonprofit, Farm on Wheels, Inc., for seven years and took agriculture lessons into inner city schools in New York. I hauled a cow, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks, horse and herding dogs to playgrounds, baseball fields and parking lots in order to help introduce agriculture to urban youth. My masters and PhD from Cornell University focused on agriculture literacy. How do we reconnect people to the source of their food and fiber?

In Montana, I conducted research on the Flathead cherry varieties, cold hardy, hybrid wine grapes, hops feasibility, apple, pear and plum and small dark fruit – berries. I also taught over 400 master gardeners and classes on landowner stewardship, agritourism, curb appeal, poultry and beekeeping, and attracting or mitigating wildlife.  

For almost 50 years I have been striving to educate anyone that wants to know more about living on the land in a harmonious way. Nature brings me joy.  My favorite quote that I have engraved on a large stone in my yard is this:

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum

I am happy to consult with those willing to learn and put that knowledge to use. Drop me an email and we can set up a time to talk about your project.

Numbers Speak For Themselves

Years of Experience
Master Gardeners Taught
Years of Horticultural Research