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VOLUNTEER CLEANUP SET MAY 11 AT PENN DIXIE QUARRY SITE

There are all sorts of old "treasures" just waiting to be picked up at the former Penn Dixie Quarry in Hamburg, including tires, junk cars and refrigerators.

After volunteers pick up the old items May 11, they can stick around and pick up some ancient treasures, including fossils.

The cleanup at the old quarry is the first major event sponsored by the Hamburg Natural History Society since acquiring the site earlier this year.

"We'll clean out the tires and cars and junk that's been dumped illegally," said Jerold C. Bastedo. "If we get 200 to 300 people out there, we could put a big hole in it."

The former quarry near Big Tree and Bay View roads has been known as a valuable source of fossils for years.

The Town of Hamburg bought the 57-acre site in December and deeded 32.5 acres to the society in February.

The town kept the rear and front sections for economic and housing development.

The society plans to develop a visitors center, a nature trail that is handicapped-accessible and cement pads for astronomy observation.

The society has been taking groups of schoolchildren and others on tours of the site, giving visitors the chance to take home the fossils they find.

Geologists and others from around the country have toured the site.

Bastedo said he is arranging for geological groups from West Virginia, Cleveland and New Jersey to visit.

Locally, Boy Scouts, scientists and others have volunteered to help clean out the quarry.

"Over the years a lot of things have accumulated," Bastedo said.

They include eight cars, hundreds of tires, an old boat, a golf cart, refrigerators and plastic cups and bottles.

Modern Recycling is donating portable toilets for the volunteers and two dumpsters and will haul away the tires.

Another volunteer has agreed to take the junk cars, Bastedo said.

Those wishing to help out are asked to bring a pair of work gloves and show up at the Jeffrey Boulevard entrance at 9 a.m. May 11.

The cleanup will last about three hours. Those who wish can bring a box lunch and hunt for fossils in the afternoon.

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