Euclid Creek Backyard Buffers

Get free trees if you live along Euclid Creek!

What is the Backyard Buffer Program?

As a stream side property owner, you have a special opportunity to restore the Rocky River and its tributaries. The Euclid Creek Backyard Buffers Program provides tree and shrub seedlings, and planting guidance free of charge to stream side residents in the Euclid Creek Watershed.

Properly maintained riparian buffers stabilize stream banks, decrease high storm flows, filter nutrients and sediment from storm water, provide essential habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife, and increase property values.

  • Registration has now closed for the 2022 Euclid Creek Backyard Buffers Program! If you would information on any future tree seedling distributions please contact Meg Hennessey at mhennessey@cuyahogaswcd.org

    Thank you to all who are planting natives trees and shrubs along the creeks!

No stream is too small! In fact small tributaries can be the most affected by the re-establishment of riparian vegetation buffers.

Seedlings include:

  • Black Chokeberry (shrub species)
  • Arrowwood (shrub species)
  • Bebb's and Dune Willows
  • Cottonwood
  • Gray Dogwood
  • Silver Maple
  • Red Oak
  • Nannyberry (shrub species)
  • Tulip Poplar
  • Thornless Honeylocust

Please note: availability on the day of may differ due to supplies; similar species will be available. Enrollment may be closed when our supply limits are reached.

Seedlings are between 18 - 36 inches high, and most are in their second year of life. Plant them within 15 feet of the stream and at least 5 feet apart (3 ft for shrub species). With protection from deer and regular watering during drought, these seedlings will grow fast!

Each participant will receive 10-25 seedlings if desired and based on the number of actual enrollees. CSWCD encourages landowners to use these seedlings as the start of their own backyard stream buffer. We hope you will purchase and plant more trees and shrubs as possible- and to create "no-mow" zones for 25 feet out from each side of the stream.

Additional Resources

Woods For Waters: A guide to planting riparian buffers for healthy streams by Cuyahoga River Restoration

Tennessee's Urban Riparian Handbook (check any recommended plants species are also native to NE Ohio) and flyer on the benefits of riparian buffers.

LEAPBio and Cleveland Metroparks maintain an online list of regional native plant nurseries here.

Conservation Buffers: Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors and Greenways by USDA and the US Forest Service

And Cuyahoga SWCD’s own Life at the Water’s Edge: Living in Harmony with Your Backyard Stream

Cuyahoga SWCD is an equal opportunity employer and provider. There shall be no discrimination exercised against any person because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender, ancestry, age, disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, genetic information, political affiliation, or military/veteran status when fulfililng the purpose of this engagement.


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