Penn Dixie Funding Boosted

By Jim Eiseman, Chair, Board of Directors

We are very pleased to announce to that Erie County has approved their budget with the full amount of funding, $92,920, requested by Penn Dixie during the Cultural Application Process to help fund operations in 2018.

In addition to being awarded this amount for operations, Erie County approved an additional $2,000 to be put towards our fund for a building on site. On behalf of the organization I would like to thank County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Legislator Lynne Dixon, and the entire County Legislature for their support of the Penn Dixie and the value that cultural organizations bring to the region.

Legislator Lynne Dixon adds “I am pleased that Erie County was once again able to support Penn Dixie in the budget and thank my colleagues in the Legislature for supporting my request to increase 2018 funding. This site draws visitors from around the world and I couldn’t be more proud of the work being done there. Supporting Penn Dixie at the county level helps ensure it will remain open and continue to educate the thousands of visitors it has each year.”


Coverage of the 2018 budget:

2018 Erie County budget passes unanimously by Mike Desmond, WBFO

Poloncarz: Agreement reached on final 2018 Erie County budget by Spectrum News Staff

Erie County Legislature adds more funding for Erie Community College by Sandra Tan, Buffalo News

Annual dig has $32k impact

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Fossil hunters at the 2016 Dig with the Experts program in May.

A newly released report from the Hamburg Natural History Society (HNHS) finds that the Penn Dixie Paleontological & Outdoor Education Center’s annual fossil dig — Dig with the Experts — contributed greater than $32,000 in total economic impact to the Hamburg area in 2016.

You can download the Penn Dixie Dig with the Experts report in PDF format.

The report examined the economic benefits generated from the one-day fossil collecting program in which visitors were invited to collect fossils in a freshly excavated portion of the site’s 54-acre quarry. Paleontologists from the Cincinnati area supervised the dig, where participants could unearth 380 million-year-old rocks in search of marine fossils such as trilobites and brachiopods.

Visitors stayed in local lodgings, dined at local restaurants, and visited area attractions while they were in town. About 40 percent of the dig 165 attendees traveled from outside the Buffalo area; a similar number were first-time visitors to Penn Dixie.

HNHS Director David Hanewinckel, who authored the study, stated “We knew Penn Dixie had an economic effect on the area, but before this study, we didn’t know how much we contributed. Now, we have a good number and look forward to continuing success.” The study was conducted by Hanewinckel, HNHS Executive Director Phil Stokes, and Dr. Roger Levine, an independent consultant formerly of the American Institutes for Research.

Penn Dixie typically welcomes 12,000 visitors each year; visitors from 31 states and four countries have visited to date in 2016. Penn Dixie was recognized as the top fossil park in the U.S. following a 2011 study published by the Geological Society of America.