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Return to Healthy Twelve Mile Creek


Buffer in a Box is a new initiative by the Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada that aims to protect and preserve Niagara’s most significant watershed.


Buffer in a Box offers landowners in the Upper Twelve Mile Creek Watershed free native tree and shrub seedlings to establish or improve stream buffers and increase forest cover while protecting and beautifying their property. 


There is no cost to the landowner. To participate in the program simply apply and we will arrange a site visit to answer any questions, plan your planting areas and arrange planting and delivery time.


The application period closes August 31, 2022. 

This project is made possible through a partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program, the Town of Pelham and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.


This project was undertaken with the support of:

Ce projet a été réalisé avec l'appui financier de:

Asset 2Environment and Climate Change Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program.png
Why is Buffer In A Box so important?

➤ Upper Twelve Mile Creek  is the only watershed in Niagara that can support a year-round population of native Brook Trout 

➤  Brook Trout populations are threatened and we must protect their habitat from the damages of flooding, erosion, and warm temperatures. 

➤  Because the lands in the watershed are roughly 80% privately owned, to adequately protect habitat we need landowners to participate.

What's in a box?

Each Buffer in a Box that we deliver will be filled with a variety of native trees and shrubs, treeguards, and coco disks. Check out the list below to see some of the species you might receive in your box! Actual species delivered will vary depending on site conditions and plant availability.


Riparian Boxes

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum)

Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)


Reforestation Boxes

White Birch (Betula papyifera)

Maple-leaved Viburnum (Viburnum acerfolium)

Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Purple Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

Sign Up

To participate, please submit the form below. We will then arrange a site visit by a Trout Unlimited Canada restoration expert who will answer your questions, determine what species are suitable for your property, discuss options for planting locations and set a date to deliver your Box.  At the site visit you will receive a Landowner Information Package containing instructions on how to plant and take care of your trees and shrubs and a free Guide to Niagara’s Native Trees and Shrubs.

Preferred contact method

Why should I participate in Buffer in a Box?

You should consider participating if: 

1) You are concerned about the damaging effects of flooding from unique weather events associated with Climate Change

2) You are interested in protecting and restoring the health of Twelve Mile Creek and its dwindling population of native Brook Trout.

3) You want to beautify and help protect your property from possible flood damage.

How much does it cost to participate in the program? 

If you are an eligible Twelve Mile Creek landowner there is no charge for a box of plant materials. There is a limit of 2 boxes per property.

Who can receive a box?

Landowners within the Upper Twelve Mile Creek Watershed.

Twelve Mile Creek Watershed Map

What do I need to do to be eligible?

Landowners will be asked to agree to protect and maintain their plantings for the first year. 

Do I have to have Twelve Mile Creek flowing through my property to participate?

The simple answer is no. There will be two boxes offered: A Riparian mix of trees and shrubs to help prevent erosion of the banks of the Creek (Riparian areas) and a tree planting box if you want to increase the forest cover on your property.

When will I receive my box?

Boxes will be delivered for fall planting (September - November) in most cases. You will be notified in advance of delivery times. 

How many plants come in a box?

 Each box will contain 30 native plants with a mix of trees and shrubs covering an area of approximately 100m2.

Do I plant the trees and shrubs myself?

You can. However, we can also arrange a group of volunteers to help you plant the contents of your Buffer in a Box.

How and where do I plant my Buffer In A Box?

 Each landowner that signs up to get a Box gets a site planning visit from a Trout Unlimited restoration expert. At the same time you will receive a landowner information package containing everything you need to know about how to plant and take care of your buffer.

Why is there a limit of 2 boxes per property?

There is a limit of two boxes per property because they are designed to fill in relatively small spaces. If your property requires a larger restoration planting we can help you apply for a restoration grant. 

Why is the Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited managing Buffer in a Box?

We are a cold water conservation organization of volunteers that care about the health of Niagara’s most significant watershed: Twelve Mile Creek. 

Who is paying for all of this?

Funding for Buffer in a Box comes from Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program.  Its purpose is to contribute to improving freshwater quality through actions that reduce harmful substances in freshwater and/or restore and protect freshwater ecosystem health.

More questions?
Get in touch.
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Become a member of Trout Unlimited Canada Niagara Chapter today.

Join us by visiting the Trout Unlimited Canada site and selecting 'Niagara Chapter' when prompted.





Healthy Twelve Mile Creek is a project of the Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada with the support from multiple generous funders to improve the Twelve Mile Creek watershed.

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