Tifft Nature Preserve is a 264-acre nature refuge dedicated to conservation and environmental education. The Preserve was created in 1972 from land purchased by the City of Buffalo for a landfill site. Concerned citizens recognized the ecological importance of the site and convinced the city legislators to plan for the area’s preservation. The completed landfill incorporated many safety measures, allowing the land to have a new purpose, a nature preserve which opened in 1976.
The land that comprises Tifft Nature Preserve has a fascinating history. It was once part of a huge dairy farm owned by George Washington Tifft and later became a transshipment center, primarily for coal and iron ore. During the 1950s and 1960s, Tifft's land was a dumpsite for city refuse.
Tifft began its transformation to a nature preserve in the 1970s. Nearly two million cubic feet of solid municipal waste was enclosed in clay and covered with soil excavated from another section of the Preserve. Ponds were enlarged, and trees and wildflowers were planted. Conservation of Tifft’s large cattail marsh helped attract a variety of animals.
In 1982, Tifft Farm Nature Preserve became a department of the Buffalo Museum of Science. Its name was later changed to Tifft Nature Preserve, to better reflect its purpose as a preserve rather than a farm.
Today, Tifft Nature Preserve maintains a natural setting. Animals from the entire region take advantage of its ponds, marshes and woodlands. It has become the urban sanctuary many people envisioned over twenty years ago. Tifft's Visitor Center can be reached at 716.825.6397.
- Five miles of nature trails – trail map and rules available at Visitor Center
- Three boardwalks with viewing blinds in and adjacent to cattail marsh
- Trails open year around during daylight hours
- Guided walks— Thursdays 10 am– 12 pm; $2.00 donation.
- Official “Important Bird Area” offers outstanding bird watching
- Fishing at Lake Kirsty only (Except North Shoreline)
- Snowshoe rental
- Discovery Kit Rentals
- Cross-country skiing permitted
- Opportunities to observe local wildlife in natural habitats
Tifft Nature Preserve Management Plan
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Help Us Respect and Protect the Preserve's Residents
Plants and animals are an important part of the Preserve. They should be left undisturbed and for everyone’s enjoyment. Here are a few suggestions to help make your visit a pleasant one and to help protect the Preserve’s plant and animal life.
- The Preserve is home for plants and animals. Hunting, trapping, swimming, boating, cycling are not allowed on the Preserve as these activities disrupt the natural habitat. Bicycle racks are available at the Makowski Visitor Center.
- While fishing in designated areas is allowed in the summer, ice fishing is not allowed in the winter.
- The Preserve is to be kept litter free.
- It is important that visitors stay on the trails. Walk the trails with other people, not alone.
- Dogs and other pets should be left at home.
- Enjoy a picnic near the Makowski Visitor Center. Fires, cooking, camping and alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
- Tifft welcomes snow shoeing and cross-country skiing. Snowshoe rental is available.
- Collecting or releasing animals and picking plants is prohibited.
|Support Tifft Nature Preserve by becoming a Friends of Tifft member.
For information about Buffalo Museum of Science membership, click here.
Tifft Nature Preserve is administered by:
Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, New York 14211