Across Montana, dams curtail annual spring floods, depriving riparian cottonwood forests of the regenerative disturbance processes that sustain them. Invasive plant species further disrupt plant communities and ecosystem dynamics. Billings, MT lies along the undammed and iconic Yellowstone River. Spring floods still drive ecosystem change, but invasive species prevent a return to a fully functioning natural ecosystem. Restoring a highly visible natural area adjacent to Montana’s largest city will provide abundant opportunities for education on disturbance regimes, invasive species, and ecosystem processes.