As one of the oldest conservation organizations founded and operating today out of the Niagara Frontier, the organization has preserved and protected some of the most significant habitats, plants and animal species in the region for 85 years and counting.   


Contact and Connect with NSSWNY. Becoming a member gives opportunties for hands-on stewardship and leadership opportunities to serve on our board of directors, lead field trips, or serve as a preserve custodian. Build and create friendships that bond over nature. 

Our Mission

We acquire, own, and manage preserves for the protection, stewardship, and conservation of native plants and animals and their habitats. We also promote educational programs and scientific research relative to nature preserves. Connecting nature and the WNY community.

Get Involved

Your membership will support our mission of acquiring, preserving, and protecting some of the most significant habitats and plant and animal species in WNY. We led the way in stewardship and conservation on the Niagara Frontier. Find out what you will receive as a member...


Donate and Help Preserve beatiful Western New York. NSSWNY is a 501(C)3 non-profit educational corporation in New York State. All donations are therefore fully deductible within the limits of IRS and your state and local tax laws. Find out how donating becomes more than money, and join as a member.


Nature inspires us all. 


Check out what inspires us.  

*For more information on membership, visit the Get Involved page. 

Member's Niche

From Nature Preserves, August 2020, a commentary from the president of the organization, Jackie Swift:

Compassion for All Through Nature Preservation


      As New York State started locking down in mid- March, Society members jumped to the call of ser- vice for our fellow human beings. Bob Sienkiewicz, who works for the NYS Health Department, began accepting late-night deliveries and doing inventories to ready the PPE supplies for distribution to agency nurses. Suzanne Pilon became a delivery person for Meals on Wheels. Soci- ety professors quickly developed online classes to care for their students while other members began making masks. During this historic time, members have protested, signed petitions, and added their voices to the calls for justice and equality.

     This is one of those times when compassion for the suf- fering of our fellow human family-mates needs to be turned up while at the same time we continue our hard work for preserving the natural world. It is with an eagle’s vision that we see the whole picture and know that pro- tecting nature is indeed an essential way to “love one an- other.” Preserving the rarities we love can become com- passion and love for all beings.

     Quality of life is directly affected by the integrity of our environment, of which we are all an integral part. All our food comes from the biosphere, our minerals from the lithosphere. Our bodies are mostly water from the hydro- sphere, and our lungs breathe the atmosphere. Then there is the spiritual uplift and healing that comes from being in the natural world. Our shelters come from nature as do so many other ecosystem services. It only makes sense that all our lives depend on its integrity. The environment’s health is our own. A vibrant green world means well-being for everyone.

     Preserving our Earth home is one of the best ways to care for all life. The focus of the Society on saving rare species, habitats, and geology has the additional benefits of en- hancing watersheds, air quality, and the complex web of life. By protecting uncommon species, we are protecting ourselves as well. By preserving wild nature, we are look- ing out for native species—truly an act of kind compas- sion and empathy for all.

     Be well and safe, dear members, and thank you so very much for your essential part in our Earth preservation community.




When joining online, please include in the notes area  your full contact information SUCH AS: name(s), address, phone number and email so we can update your information into our member catalog.

Help share the NSSWNY Website or Facebook


New website offers more for members. Learn how to access the "members only" pages.

Find the important forms here:

Printable Membership Renew

As cases of COVID-19 increase in New York State, we are taking recommended precautions to protect our nature-lovers community and smoothly carry on our preservation work.

Note: Due to COVID-19, participants in all NSSWNY fall events must wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and bring their own supplies. You must also register with the trip leader in case plans change or the need should arise for contact tracing.


*Our board, custodians, newsletter editor, consultant, researchers, and partners work together remotely already and are seamlessly continuing our regular operations.

*The Annual Meeting and Banquet, originally scheduled for May 20, is rescheduled to October 28, 2020.  

*Future field trips and workdays will be kept on the calendar as announced, with possible adjustments and cancellations in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and local and state guidelines as we move forward. 

Tell us your favorite experience in the outdoors!


Many Hands Make for Light Lifting: Volunteer for NSSWNY Today! 

NSSWNY welcomes help from anyone interested in furthering its mission. 


Want to be a part of the team? Contact the wetland's custodians to volunteer by sending us a message!


NSSWNY Notecards, Perfect for Giving 

Thanks to Ana Hernandez-Balzac’s concept and the work of Arkwright Printing, beautiful notecards have been produced and are available in bundles of six for $10. Within each set are the three amazing wildflower images shown below; these photographs were taken at our sanctuaries and donated by Jamie Hoggard.

Just send your check for $10 per packet, plus $7 shipping per order to our P.O. Box

Moments to Remember

President Theodore Roosevelt and Sierra Club Founder and President John Muir visited Yosemite together in 1903. 

At our fall membership meeting on October 20th, Judi Geer delivered a fascinating presentation on the life and accomplishments of Theodore Roosevelt (“TR”), the 26th and “greenest” president of the United States. Judi, a longtime NSSWNY member with interests in nature and history, finds these two themes

interwoven in TR’s unique persona.



NSSWNY’s NEWEST PRESERVE in the Allegheny River Watershed

The acquisition of 7.6 acres in Cattaraugus County targeted an identified need for biodiversity preservation by seeking protection for the Eastern Hellbender salamander (Cryptobranchus a. alleganiensis).


This is one of the priority vertebrate species we are seeking to protect through acquisition

and protection of habitat.

Check out a highlight of NSSWNY done by 2 the Outdoors!!

<click image below to watch>

2the outdoors screenshot

On a recent trip to the Society's crown jewel, the Clifford Furman Preserve, Orchids bloomed, birds sang, and the forest danced with light that was alive with Mother Nature's abundant gifts.Landau describes the experience. " The light is different, the temperature changes, it's cool , you're out of the heat and the sun. There are multiple sensory changes that go on, on the way into them, while you're out on them, and as you come back out into, quote, reality . "


The Seven Sleepers 

By Gerry Rising 

   "All of these an-imals that hibernate have the same problem: how to make it through the winter months faced with the reduced amount of available food to provide their body warmth, the low temperatures that drain what little warmth they do have, and the deep snows that make getting around so difficult and that further de-plete their energy. 

    When you think about it, hibernation, if you can pull it off, is a wonderful response to winter. You simply batten things down, just as you do your summer cot-tage, and wait for better times. I suspect that at vari-ous times each winter most of us wish that we had such an alternative to cabin fever." 


 Dave Bauer, a local children’s book author gave an insightful presentation on the importance of children connecting with nature.


In his presentation, Dave talked about ways in which adults and children can work together to address and reverse this unhealthy trend. 

A key aspect of nature discovery for children is through unstructured “creative nature play.” Here, children utilize their rich capacity through the use of their senses, curiosity, and wonder to catalyze their nature experiences. These types of moments can occur in any outdoor space, even right in your own backyard! 

                   MEMBERS READ MORE!


Stream Corridor Conservation and the Buffalo Creek Oxbow


Dr. Margaret Wooster, NSSWNY’s 2014 Stewardship Award honoree, was the speaker at this year’s banquet. In her presentation, she described her work on stream corridor conservation and the Buffalo Creek oxbow, specifically. She has summarized her presentation for: Saving the Planet, One Stream at a Time 

The Big Impact Of A Tiny Product:

Sam Mason's Work Against Micro-beads


Our speaker at 2015 NSSWNY banquet was Dr. Sherri “Sam” Mason from the Dept. of Chemistry & Environmental Sciences at SUNY Fredonia,

speaking on “The Great Plasticized Lakes.” While other researchers have been investigating plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, Sam’s work has shown that the Great Lakes face a similar problem. Pieces of plastic, ranging from tiny pellets, beads, and fibers to larger pieces, are found throughout the Great Lakes. Some of the pieces are small enough to be ingested and are present in the digestive tracts of fish.

memerber's read more . . .



Hellbender FLASHBACK!

retired NYSDEC Senior Wildlife Biologist, Ken Roblee showed a number of slides and talked about the rare herptiles (amphibians and reptiles) of our region and their associated habitats and restoration activities. The eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus a. alleganiensis), read more in the November 2014 Issue of Nature Preserve.


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