Missisquoi River Basin Association Tree Planting Program

The Missisquoi River Basin Association (MRBA), got its start in 1994 with the determination and dedication to restore the Missisquoi River watershed. The MRBA is a group comprised of teachers, farmers, business owners, environmental experts and concerned citizens. Since the formation, the non-profit has planted more than 22,000 trees to create streambank buffers and provide habitat alongside the Missisquoi River.

The MRBA has sought grant money, volunteers, and willing landowners to help plant stream bank buffer zones since our earliest days. When a landowner expresses interest in a riparian buffer zone, the MRBA purchases native trees with grant money and coordinates a volunteer planting event, with no charge to the landowner. This buffer zone stabilizes eroding streambanks and enhances wildlife habitat while shading and cooling the waterway.

Project Contact: John Little
Project Contact Email: jalittle58@gmail.com
Year Project Started: 1997
Project Lifespan: 1997- Present
Regional Planning Commision: None
Land Management, Outreach, water
Project Accomplishments:

Around fifty years ago farmers were told by the USDA to cut down trees alongside the river banks, these same areas that were once cut, currently have about 5 to 6 feet tall trees. Due to the persistence of the MRBA, volunteers have been planting trees for 17 years along the banks of the Missisiquoi River and its tributaries. These buffers provide wildlife habitat, prevent streambank erosion, and protect water quality.

Project Partners:

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
Lake Champlain Basin Program
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
Local Schools
Ben & Jerry's

Critical to Success:

The Missisquoi River Basin Association credits its success to their gracious volunteers and landowners that have helped them for over 17 years plant trees along the Missisquoi River. This is a long term perennial project but the MRBA would not have planted all the trees without their generosity. Once the MRBA had the funding for their trees, the manual labor was all volunteer work.


For many non-profits, finding the grant money is always a challenge. Gaining funding for the project is an ongoing project. Sustaining a group of loyal volunteers to help plant trees and finding willing landowners to plant on their property are both major challenges that the MRBA had to overcome to achieve their goal.