The Hamburg Natural History Society (HNHS) promotes the hands on study of natural sciences, including geology, astronomy, and ecology through the operation of the Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve, a tourist attraction for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
The HNHS was founded in 1993 to facilitate preservation of the former Penn Dixie Cement Corporation quarry located near Bayview Road in Hamburg, NY. In 1995, the Town of Hamburg purchased a substantial part of the former Penn Dixie quarry and deeded it to the HNHS under conditions which included cleaning out decades of illegally dumped garbage and keeping the facility open for science education.
Today, the centerpiece of Penn Dixie is a fossil quarry — ranked #1 in the U.S. in a scientific study — which is a global geological treasure that attracts thousands of visitors from across the world every year. Visitors to Penn Dixie are encouraged to collect — and keep — fossils from a shallow ocean environment that existed 380 million years ago.