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FAQ

What is Healthy Twelve Mile Creek?


Healthy Twelve Mile Creek is a landowner stewardship initiative of the Niagara Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada. We offer resources, expertise and opportunities to complete restoration projects that will improve the health of the sub watershed known as Upper Twelve Mile Creek.




Where is the Upper Twelve Mile Creek watershed located?


The Twelve Mile Creek is Niagara’s most significant cold water resource. It begins as two small streams rising from year-round springs near the Town of Fonthill, Pelham. These two branches (St. John’s and Effingham) flow through farmland and forest north toward Lake Ontario converging at the border of Short Hills Provincial Park and flowing downstream to Cameron Flats at the foot of the Decew generating station.




What are the benefits of environmental restoration?


The Upper Twelve was once home to a large population of native Brook Trout an indicator of clean,cold water. Restoration efforts will help protect and restore aquatic habitats and help Brook Trout populations recover. Restoration work will encourage biodiversity, mitigate climate change and protect properties from the damage of erosion and flooding. . These projects vary depending on the condition of the stream and include such efforts as reforestation, riparian (stream bank) buffer planting and enhancement, and in-stream projects to stabilize stream banks and reduce erosion.




What is a riparian buffer?


Riparian areas are defined as the transitional area between an upland dry area and a water body such as a stream or lake, commonly referred to by some as the shoreline region. Riparian areas are rich in biodiversity and much more productive than their adjacent upland areas. For more information on what riparian areas are important, check out: https://tucanada.org/what-are-riparian-areas-and-why-are-they-important/




How will riparian plantings help the stream?


Riparian plantings to reestablish a riparian buffer to moderate seasonal flooding which plays an important role in stabilizing streambanks and preventing erosion. Other benefits of riparian plantings include filtering water and preventing runoff into the stream, filtering pollution, moderating water flow and temperature, improving water conditions, and lastly, providing food for aquatic insects and fish. Riparian buffers encourage biodiversity and are an important restoration tool for the improvement of aquatic systems.




How can I get involved as a landowner?


If you live on Twelve Mile Creek or in the sub watershed, you may qualify for stream rehabilitation work or tree planting of native trees and shrubs on your property. Just contact us through our website, Facebook, or email us at info@healthytwelvemilecreek.ca with your information and location, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can to arrange a site visit.




Do I have to pay to participate in these projects?


Landowners are asked to contribute to part of the cost of project expenses, whether through in-kind participation (mowing, site preparation, etc.) or via a monetary contribution if it is a larger project (i.e. culvert replacement, cribwall, LUNKER, etc.).The cost sharing formula will be discussed when your restoration plan is presented to you.




How can I get involved as a volunteer to help with stream restoration work?


Volunteers play an important role in helping us complete in stream projects or tree plantings. To get on the list of volunteers, Email us at info@healthytwelvemilecreek.ca and follow us on social media for updates on volunteer days.




Why are Brook Trout important?


Brook Trout (also called Speckled Trout) are the only native trout species in Ontario’s streams and rivers. They are also the most fragile of the trout species, preferring the clearest, coldest and most pristine aquatic environment, which makes them the ideal indicator of a healthy stream. Brook Trout suffer when water temperatures exceed 20 degrees and will die if exposed to temperatures above 22 for prolonged periods. They cannot reproduce in water that has too much sediment and avoid any stretches that are frequently disturbed, making them an important indicator of the condition of this system.




What species of trees or shrubs do you plant?


We only plant tree and shrub species that are native to the Niagara region and that will grow well with property characteristics including drainage, moisture, soil type, slope, etc.




How is your project funded?


Our project relies on funding through grants obtained provincially, federally or from philanthropic foundations and corporations. These grants offset the majority of the costs for the projects completed, though depending on size or type of project, we may require landowners to pay a portion of projects. We also work closely with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and Land Care Niagara to offset further costs of projects.




How is COVID-19 impacting the project?


We are abiding by provincial and federal guidelines and safe practices to protect staff, volunteers and landowners. With respect to these protocols we moving forward with planning and organizing projects, and we will continue to practice social distancing if property visits are required for project planning and restoration work.





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.