This summer, buried industrial and household materials will be safely removed from the site of the planned science and outdoor education center at Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve. The work is supported by a $35,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. This award continues a proud tradition of continued environmental remediation at Penn Dixie.

Community volunteers who founded the nonprofit have spent the past two decades removing illegally dumped garbage – including cars, household appliances, ammunition, broken glass, and even a boat – from the former Pennsylvania Dixie Cement Corporation quarry in Hamburg.

The continued environmental remediation of the land is a proud tradition. The supported safe cleanup is an incredible milestone for the future facility to provide year round science and outdoor programming. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo previously awarded $15,500 for the architectural renderings and environmental evaluations; kicking off the planning process.

Household waste such as electronics, appliances, pesticides, cleaners, paint, and motor oil should always be disposed of safely at appropriate waste management facilities or at collection events sponsored by Erie County and local governments.

The Hamburg Natural History Society was founded in 1993 to save land of environmental and scientific significance from industrial development for Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve ( The society operates the park to promote the hands on study of natural sciences including geology, paleontology, astronomy, and ecology for all. Visitors can enjoy unparalleled access to 380 million year old shallow sea fossils surrounded by protected wetlands and nature trails. Erie County, the Town of Hamburg, and many others provide support to Penn Dixie annually.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds were established at the Community Foundation to provide support to four areas that were important to Mr. Wilson: caregivers, community assets, design and access, and youth sports. Endowment funds, like these created to honor Mr. Wilson, are designed to grow over time and provide funding for charitable causes according to a client’s wishes.

Celebrating its centennial year in 2019, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. For 100 years the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at

Contact Development Manager, Elizabeth Schiavoni, MSc or Dr. Phil Stokes to learn more about the future of science and outdoor education at Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve, [email protected], (716) 627-4560.