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Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Preserve opens to members next week

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Posted at 4:03 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 16:03:56-04

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Preserve is where you can find fossils that are 380 million years old, and keep anything you find.

It's a fun and educational activity. And if you’re looking for a new place to discover, the reserve reopens June first to members, and June 15 to the public.

It's been closed for the season before the COVID-19 pandemic, but had to push back its original reopening date in April.

"It got off to a kind of slow start, but we're really looking forward to celebrating 25 years in the community," said Dr. Holly Schreiber, Director of Education.

Penn Dixie falls under New York State guidance for "Parks and other open public spaces" and "Outdoor, low-risk recreational activities."

Despite that, they've made a number of changes to keep everyone safe.

"We're taking every measure we can to ensure visitor safety, that includes required face coverings," said Dr. Phil Stokes, Executive Director. "And the good news is we've had some masks, we've had a thousand masks donated by the Town of Hamburg. So if you don't have a mask when you come here we've got one for you at no charge."

All guests will have to register and buy tickets online, and social distance while digging.

Staff are painting the parking lot to have socially distant parking spots as well.

Staff and volunteers will have their temperatures taken at the start and end of their shifts.

You're advised to bring sunscreen, water, a hat and make sure to wear sensible shoes.

"We also have a whole completely new procedure for cleaning of things like our tools rentals, our bathrooms, and all those common areas that are around the park," said Dr. Schreiber.

Tickets are extremely limited during these early phases so staff encourage guests to register soon.

"The spring has been so lonely because we haven't had those school groups out on site, we haven't had our guests out on site so we're really looking forward to seeing people again," said Dr. Schreiber.