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Tifft Nature Preserve offers winter fun

BY: Catherine Miller | January 10, 2013

SOUTH BUFFALO - January at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo is a unique place to explore winter’s wonder in a natural setting just moments outside your door. With snowshoeing, nature walks and continual events and activities Tifft Nature Preserves offers a great way to shake cabin fever and explore the beauty Western New York has to offer.

Snowshoe rentals are available, in either a traditional wood snowshoe style, or children’s plastic version, at the Tifft Nature Preserve Visitor Center when there is at least 6 inches of snow. Fee is $5 for adults, and $3 for children 3-6 years of age (up to 45 pounds).

Wellness walks occur every Thursday morning from 10 a.m. to noon at this urban nature sanctuary and visitors of all ages are welcome to join in for fresh air and a healthy outdoor guided tour of the area. It’s not uncommon to see and track all sorts of wildlife on the walks.

The Novice Adult Nature Journaling Tour is held on Wednesday afternoons from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The guided tour of Tifft’s wildlife will help bring you closer at the outdoors on a more artistic level, and beginners of all ages are welcomed to join.

“People often see deer, as well as fox and coyote tracks on the trails,” said Caryn Corriere, an Environmental Educator at the facility, “We have seen mink as well, although it’s rare. You can also catch glimpses of all type of birds. Last year we had a pelican stay for a day or two.”

On Saturday, Feb 16 Tifft Nature Preserve will be holding their Frosty Fun Festival from 10 am – 2 pm. Activities will include snowshoe hikes, indoor crafts, animal tracking, snow animal sculpture contests, and more. What a great way to celebrate the season and enjoy hot beverages and snacks with your family and friends.

Teenagers from the area are invited on Feb 22 to join in the “Teen Snow Scene” from 6 7:30 p.m.. Tifft is encouraging all teens ages 13 to 19 to get out of the house, skip the usual Friday night monotony and strap on snowshoes to hike through the Tifft Preserve area under the stars, and end with a warm beverage in Tifft’s cabin. Fee for the teen night is $7.

“Some of our more popular programs are our night offerings,” explained Lauren Makeyenko, Experience Manager at the facility, “It’s rare that you get to explore the area at night, so we get a good crowd for those events. Snowshoeing at Tifft is also getting very popular. This past weekend, we rented over 100 pairs of snowshoes! People in Buffalo definitely want to get outdoors and Tifft is a great place to do that in the City of Buffalo!”

Tifft Nature Preserve is a 264-acre urban nature refuge dedicated to conservation and environmental education. In 1982, the Tifft Farm Nature Preserve became a department of the Buffalo Museum of Science. Located at 1200 Fuhrman Blvd, Buffalo, and easily accessible from Route 5, Tifft Nature Preserve is a convenient location for most Western New Yorkers. The trails are open during daylight hours year round for your outdoor activity enjoyment. Snowshoeing is weather permitting and can be rented during the Visitor Center hours Wed – Sat 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. and Sunday Noon to 4 p.m..

The activities and events being offered at Tifft are plentiful and ever changing. To keep up with all the goings on at the Preserve visit their website at www.sciencebuff.org/tifft-nature-preserve.

Nominal fees are charged for some activities.

Pre-registration is encouraged for many of the programs and can be arranged by calling 825-6397.

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