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Volunteer Plantings, Reforestation, Riparian Restoration, and Adaptive Management of Living Shorelines

Are you interested in planting native trees, shrubs, perennials and aquatic plants, caring for bird boxes and trails, and taking part in stewardship of dynamic living shorelines? If so, RestoreCorps is the program for you!

RestoreCorps Volunteer Opportunities

Tree Planting Guide

Along with our guide above, watch this video for additional tips.

Restorecorps Projects

Ellicott Creek Restoration Project

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper secured grant funding from the U.S. Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to plant and maintain 700 new trees throughout Ellicott Creek Park throughout 2018-2019. This exciting two-year volunteer planting effort was designed to introduce the next generation of park trees while also reducing stormwater runoff to Ellicott and Tonawanda Creeks.

Runoff reduction at this 165-acre site is critical as it sits entirely within an urban environment bordered by two tributaries to the Niagara River. With a large portion of the existing park tree stock destined to age-out in coming years, the park threatened to suffer a loss of mature trees and reduced stormwater collection potential of up to a million gallons.

Successful establishment of new trees would result in maintaining a park canopy and stabilizing the absorption capacity of the soil to help protect water quality. As partners in this effort, the landowner, Erie County Parks, supplied much needed mulch for events and is providing long-term maintenance to support successful establishment.

Gill Creek Restoration Project

In partnership with the City of Niagara Falls, NY and with funding from the US Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper mobilized volunteers to plant over 1,000 trees and shrubs during a three year period along Gill Creek to strengthen the riparian corridor.
This project offered volunteers a direct way to help improve the well-being of their communities and local watershed. Plantings implemented during this project are one step towards restoring the water quality and aesthetic beauty of Gill Creek while also enhancing recreational opportunities.
Past RestoreCorps Projects

Riverbend I Restoration Project

In Fall 2017, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper welcomed volunteers to our Buffalo River RiverBend Phase I site at 1140 South Park Avenue to assist in managing invasive species and nuisance weeds on the site.

In an effort to make this section of Buffalo River shoreline a healthier, and more diverse environment, volunteers removed invasive plants like knapweed, mugwort and nuisance weeds such as burdock and reseeded the area with native grasses.

By maintaining a healthy living shoreline, the water quality of the river is protected, fish and wildlife habitats are improved, and erosion is slowed.

Native Niagara Project

Waterkeeper collected seeds and seedlings from local populations of native tree and shrub species to propagate and reintroduce to restoration sites in the Niagara River watershed. During the harvest season, the WNY community assisted us by joining us in the field at a number of different locations to collect seeds as they become available.

Thank you RestoreCorps volunteers for making past field seasons a success!
Group of people planting a tree

Learn about rock socks in the video below

Information Contact | Rob Coady
Press Contact | Jennifer Fee