About us

White Cloud Design, Inc. is a landscape design company specializing in detailed, sustainable residential landscape design for projects throughout the West. Based out of Whitefish, Montana, we strive to seamlessly integrate homes into their surrounding landscape, with ecological designs that have personalized character. While our specialty is residential design, our design and consulting services range from ranch landscape design, to trails branding, water shaping, lakeshore permitting, HOA design approvals, green roof design, sign sitting and integration, and site land use planning.


Sustainable Practices  & Green Design:

Landscape Architecture has always been on the green side of design. Now, more than ever, there is relevance being placed on creating human habitats that are ecologically sound. Our commitment to the design is as strong as our commitment to the environment, and White Cloud Design strives to:

Flagstone and Moss Walkway, websiteUse locally sourced materials that are manufactured, harvested, or grown with little impact on the environment.

Minimize irrigation use with efficient drip installation systems, and by using native plants that are adapted to the local climate.

Minimize impermeable surfaces, such as asphalt, by using permeable pavers that allow water to infiltrate into the soil.

Minimize impact on the land during construction by protecting existing tree roots, filtering water runoff from the site, and saving native topsoil.

Prevent soil erosion by capturing and filtering on-site water runoff with design elements such as rain gardens and bio swales.

Use efficient mechanics, such as LED lighting, on pumps and outdoor light fixtures.

Create personalized outdoor spaces with a comfortable microclimate that increase the amount of time residents spend outdoors.

In the studio, use recycled paper products whenever available, and recycle 90% of unused materials that would otherwise be directed into the waste stream.

White Cloud Design  =  Green Design


Continuing Education:

As the design and site development science is evolving, so is our business. White Cloud Design is committed to attending seminars and taking advantage of educational opportunities that enhance project designs. The continual pursuit of challenging current ideas and practices, has led White Cloud Design to incorporate new building guidelines, such as LEED and SSI, into projects.

It is also part of our philosophy that the best education comes from travel and personal experience. Travel is seen as an opportunity to research and visit intriguing built and natural spaces around the world.


Service Fees:

Arrangements for each project vary.  Generally smaller projects and consulting is charged at an hourly basis.  Larger projects are estimated and usually prepared into a contract form with set payments at established phases of the project.  This can also be related to a percentage of total landscape costs.

A full resume is available upon request.  References available upon request



Design Team


Lead Designer: Johnny McDonald

University of Idaho
BLA ASLA, Associate

The natural world is the ultimate inspiration for my landscape design philosophy. Growing up in Sun Valley, Idaho, the outdoors became my lifestyle since childhood. Tearing down the slopes since age two, and taking to the mountains for adventure, I quickly developed a strong connection to my surrounding environment. Through design, I strive to strengthen this connection for others.

Mapping out my route into the landscape and building industry, I began as a landscape laborer to develop on-site skills that became fundamental in the level of detail and functionality my designs were taken to in the future. With practical experience in the field, I then worked my way through a Landscape Architecture program at the University of Idaho and started White Cloud Design in 1995. The company launched as a design/build company to further enhance the designs from on-site knowledge, and after two years transitioned solely into a design firm. Since moving the Whitefish in 1999, White Cloud Design has been involved in hundreds of projects throughout Montana, Idaho and Hawaii. White Cloud Design is now in its 22nd year, with 25 years working in the industry.

Ski _Magazine, Nov. 2002, wide image2

Professional Ski Days

Once a professional skier, Johnny promoted the outdoor lifestyle with free skiing image advertising and marketing for sponsors such as Schoffel, K2, and Scott USA. Taking descents down the most famous and untouched peaks in the Ketchum, Idaho area, such as Devils Bedstead, Silver Peak, and Boulder Cirque, Johnny became one of the top freeskiers of his time. Traveling the world skiing in Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, Johnny made a living working with famous ski photographers and film makers. Despite the spotlight, the slopes always grounded Johnny in what was important in life, connecting with your environment.

Photo: Johnny featured on the cover of Ski magazine.

Article: “The Soul Flies” Wood River Journal 2000





Designer: Sierra McCartney

Conway School of Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design, Massachusetts

Pacific University, Oregon
BA Sustainable Design, BA Studio Art

In a time when human habitats need to be rethought to become part of the larger biological community, change is incredibly exciting. Through design and thoughtful planning, we have the opportunity to create rich, dense, and walkable downtown centers. To protect open space for wildlife, recreation, and resource harvesting, and to connect to, and strengthen our local food system.

After going to school on opposite coasts, the mountains I grew up in have pulled me back. A cross-country tandem bicycle tour from Boston to Whitefish gave me the mental recuperation that was needed after Grad School. Soon after, I joined the White Cloud Design team in 2013.



Designer: Keely Maricle

University of California, Davis


Originally from California where I studied Landscape Architecture at the University of California Davis, I easily fell in love with the beauty of Montana. My love for nature and the outdoors drives my desire to foster the relationship between humans and the environment through the design of landscapes. As the most influential inhabitants of this planet, I believe it is our duty to find the balance between manmade and natural environments for a long lived, sustainable existence.