Do you want to explore nature up close? Then Tifft Nature Preserve should be on the top of your list. The Nature Preserve, also commonly referred to as Tifft Farms, is located just steps away from Lake Erie at 1200 Fuhrmann Boulevard.
Tifft Nature Preserve serves as an important safe haven for many local plants and animals, and offers visitors and animals a reprieve from the surrounding urban setting of the city of Buffalo. Previously a landfill, concerned citizens and legislators recognized the lands ecological and environmental potential, and the plans for conversion into a nature preserve saw fruition in the 1970's. Since then, the breathtaking 264-acre nature preserve continues to serve the local community as a hub dedicated to conservation and environmental education.
Tifft boasts five miles of walking trails and three boardwalks that allow guests to explore natural habitats and observe wildlife in myriad ways. The trails and bridges, which explore ponds, marshes and woodlands, are open throughout the year during daylight hours, and provide a well marked backbone for any level of adventurer. The Makowski Visitor Center is also open daily to the public, and provides information and resources, as well as exciting and educational based workshops, activities and events to kids, adults and families.
Although exploration of the preserve is free and open to the public, many guided tours and educational programs take place throughout the year. The Wellness Walk is offered weekly, and as its name suggests, it is specifically aimed at promoting health and wellness. It kicks off each Thursday morning at 10 am and finishes at noon. For a two dollar donation, this two hour nature walk gives visitors the opportunity for great exercise, and the chance to learn, explore and connect with nature.
There are specific marked off areas on the trails where bird watching is a must for any bird lover, and on any given day wildlife can be observed in abundance from frogs in cattail marshes to sunbathing turtles on rocks nestled in expansive ponds to families of deer serenely navigating through the woodlands.
Other programs, tours, additional information and resources, such as trail maps, can be found on the Tifft Nature Preserve link on the Buffalo Museum of Science's website at http://www.sciencebuff.org/tifft-nature-preserve/about-tifft/.
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