You are here > Projects > Naturalizing Fort Erie's Creek Drains (2012 to 2015)


Current Projects

Blooms for Bees in Niagara

Building Stream Buffers for Niagara’s Rivers Project (2001 to present)

Conserving Niagara’s Forests for the Future

Past Projects

Baden Powell Park Ecosystem Enhancement Project (1998 to 2000)

Future Forest Tree Planting Program (2001)

Grassy Brook Aquatic Rehabilitation Project (1999 to 2001)

Miller Creek Habitat Enhancement Project (2013)

Naturalizing Fort Erie's Creek Drains (2012 to 2015)

Niagara River Area of Concern Fish Barrier Project (2001 to 2010)

One Mile Creek - Landsdowne Pond Biodiversity Enhancement Project (2010 to 2012)

Pelham Hills Golf and Country Club/Coyle Creek Restoration Project (2005 to 2006)

Restoring Niagara’s Short Hills Project (2010 to 2012)

Returning Nature to Niagara: Thorold–Lake Gibson Corridor Naturalization Project (2008 to 2010)

Trees for Niagara: Wildlife Corridor Enhancement Project (2005 to 2008)

Naturalizing Fort Erie's Creek Drains (2012 to 2015)

The Niagara Restoration Council is proud to announce the approval of funding for a new project in Fort Erie. "Naturalizing Fort Erie's Creek Drains" is a project that will focus on restoring habitat by creating wildlife corridors, enhancing core forest habitat, building vegetated buffers, and initiating garbage clean-ups along Fort Erie's creeks.

The NRC, with its partners, will do this through the planting of over 50,000 trees and shrubs, in addition to thousands of wildflowers, along disturbed areas of Miller Creek, Six Mile Creek, and Beaver Creek in order to increase biodiversity and establish sustainable wildlife habitat.

Up until now, these creeks have been off limits to wildlife restoration as they were partially maintained as municipal drains. While these are natural creeks that support critical fish habitat and wildlife species, sections have been historically modified for draining surrounding lands for agriculture. With the Town of Fort Erie as a partner, town staff has agreed that these creek drains can provide excellent wildlife habitat while still maintaining their functional value. As a result, this project will restore municipally and privately owned parcels of land along these creeks, which will increase and create linkages to core wildlife habitat throughout Fort Erie.

The in-kind support for this project is a vital part of this project. Many partners have come together in order to lend a hand towards the various project components that are a part of this new initiative. The project partners include the Town of Fort Erie, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Niagara College, Niagara Environmental Corps, Peninsula Field Naturalists and many more. This project will be successful due to the hard work from the many volunteers who continue to show an active interest in bettering our environment.

This project is being undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Federal Department of the Environment.

Update: Building a green future

Courtesy Cathy McCabe

It all began with a birch tree.

Frank Raso, of Fort Erie, who owns a 24-acre property, was interested in doing reforesting. He began researching native tree species for what was once farmland. Raso said, “I was trying to get a Carolinian forest re-established and if you’re going to do that, you might as well find the rarer trees.”

Raso said he was researching the rare black birch tree, also known as cherry birch, when “I was going for a walk along the parkway and I saw what I thought was a black birch.” He contacted the Niagara Parks Commission and spoke to Corey Burant who informed Raso that the tree was a yellow birch. Through his correspondence with Burant, Raso was introduced to Barry Porter, the project manager for the Niagara Restoration Council (NRC).

Porter did a site visit and offered to supply trees to Raso as part of the NRC’s Naturalizing Fort Erie’s Creek Drains Project. This project involved restoring the land around Miller Creek, Six Mile Creek and Beaver Creek. Raso’s land is considered part of the Miller Creek watershed.

In November, a group of NRC volunteers spent a day at the property planting 239 native trees including black birch and Kentucky coffee trees. Raso said, “I thought, well, if you have some trees, I’d be grateful, drop them off and we’re figure out how to get them planted. The next thing I know, he’s offering me 239 trees and a crew to plant them.” Raso said he doesn’t understand why landowners wouldn’t want help from the NRC. “They’ll provide you with the trees and then they’ll plant them. You can’t lose.”

Raso said, “It started out with my quest for the cherry birch and if they survive, I think I’ll have the most cherry birch in the entire country.” He said, where they are native in Port Dalhousie, there are only about 20 left. He said he believes his interest in native trees began with a friend from high school who had gone into forestry. Raso said his friend was involved with the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture and he ended up giving Raso a Kentucky coffee tree. Raso said when he was moving the tree from his father’s house, to his own, he noticed something. “It turns out that it propagates through root propagation, so I not only have one tree, I have eight of them.”


Did you know that the average tree absorbs ten pounds of pollutants from the air, each year?

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