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Fossil park hosts 20th annual WNY Earth Science Day

Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Preserve

It would be tough to find a more suitable spot to celebrate Earth Science Day than a local fossil park.

If you weren’t aware that Erie County is home to such an attraction, you’re not alone. Still, a growing number of people are becoming acquainted with Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Preserve in Blasdell.

The park will host its 20th annual WNY Earth Science Day on Saturday. The free event allows visitors a chance to dig up a piece of history, chat with experts and attend demonstrations.

Holly Schreiber, director of education at Penn Dixie, said the rain-or-shine event will also feature about 25 exhibitors. 

“Our attendance has been growing,” Schreiber told WBFO. “Overall this year, we have seen record attendance. On an average nice-weather weekend day we have well over 100 visitors. And an event such as this -- Earth Science Day – we’re planning for about a thousand people over the course of the day.”

The park allows people to unearth fossils that lived in a shallow ocean 380 million years ago.  Schreiber said it has been attracting a diverse audience.

“We have a lot of families that come with kids of all ages, a lot of community members,” she said. “We’ve had a number of teachers interested in bringing say their science clubs -- things like that. But I’d say the majority of our visitors are families and members of the community”

“We’ve had a great impact in both education, we see many many school field trips to the site. So we educate

Credit Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Preserve

the community on geological and paleontological history of Western New York.”

Earth Science Day will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the park at 4050 North Street in Blasdell.

Khalid Terrell contributed to this report.