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Tifft Nature Preserve, Buffalo

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 30+ reviews on the web
Tifft Nature Preserve is a 264-acre nonprofit nature refuge dedicated to conservation and environmental education. Tifft provides educational programming and exciting public events all year round! Go to to learn more about visiting Tifft Nature Preserve!

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 1950’s and 1960’s, 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, grasslands, and woodlands. It has become the urban sanctuary many people envisioned over thirty years ago. Tifft's Visitor Center can be reached at 716.825.6397 or
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  • There are beautiful trails. We've seen deer and birds .....bring a picnic lunch or just take the nature walk. Some prop,e were Aldo fishing in the lake. 
  • This is a wonderful wildlife preserve very close to downtown. The area was an industrial area and the transformation is wonderful to see. It is a model for other cities who wish to utilize abandoned s...  read more »
  • What a find, right in Buffalo. We saw four green herons and numerous shore birds among many others, along with deer, while we walked a few of the trails. Highly recommended. Nature center closes at 4:...  read more »
  • I visited Tifft Nature Reserve around mid-April. It was my personal favorite birding experience! Such a amazing variety of birds, from the Northern Cardinal to the Tufted Titmouse. The birds are SO friendly here, that they were more than happy to follow me around and even land on my hands (even though I didn't have food. If you ever do visit this nature reserve, I would recommend that you bring a small bag of seed with you (specifically sunflower seed and shelled, unsalted peanuts). I found the visit here fun and worth while and I would definitely recommend this place for families. =)
  • Great piece of reclaimed nature in the downtown area! Excelent programs and great for birding!
  • Great nature preserve near the heart of the city. Location is awesome. Lots of cool animals too see
  • Large nature preserve in a big city. Rare, and great to visit.
  • Had a great time walking the trail with my family and took kids fishing here
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