OUR MISSION: Valuing Nature's Wisdom
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 Nature Preserve is transforming with the expansion and creation of the Sustainability Center. This year, we will begin work on Phase 1 which will expand the current space which will allow us to increase our capacity to serve our WNY visitors and increase programming opportunities for the community.
Support for Phase 1 was provided by: Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Marks Foundation, Baird Foundation, Friends of Tifft and Mr. Gerhard J. *and Mrs. Ellen E. Neumaier (*deceased).
- 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