Bringing Nature into the Classroom
Wild Spirit was formed in 1995 as a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Over the years, Wild Spirit became one of the premier Wildlife Rehab Centers in the Southern part of Western New York State.
Throughout the years our volunteer run organization rehabilitated hundreds of sick, injured and orphaned wild aniumals. Our founder and Senior Rehabilitator, Paul Fehringer trained many other individuals to get their rehabilitation licenses.
During the early years, Wild Spirit was not only involved in the rehabilitation of wildlife, but also in educating individuals about the natural world. Thousands of people attended Wild Spirit programs held throughout WNY at schools, scout camps, and eldercare facilities as well as at Malls and other store displays.
In 2009 our focus began to change from rehab to education. Our board of directors felt that we could better serve the Western New York area through the education, rather than the rehabilitation. The process began to refocus our efforts throughout the organization.
In 2010 Wild Spirit changed its name to reflect this new focus and discontinued doing much of the rehabilitation. We still take in a limited number of rehab cases each year and are always available to refer people to other local rehabilitators or just to give advice on how to deal with wildlife issues around their homes.
Although Wild Spirit Education is fairly new in name and focus, we have been performing education programs throughout WNY for more than 15 years.
Wild Spirit expanded its programs in 2011 and completed new habitat/cages for our educational raptors. We perform hundreds of programs across WNY and Northern Pennsylvania each year in schools, eldercare facilities and other venues for students, scouts, and the general public. Each year we add new and exciting programs with a hands on approach to education.
In 2015 we "adopted" International Rock Flipping Day and have created a website and Facebook presence to encourage people across the planet to explore nature right in their own backyards.
Staff: Wild Spirit does not have any full time salaried employees. All staff is per dium.
Paul Fehringer is the founder, Executive Director and Head Naturalist/Educator for Wild Spirit Education. A majority of his time is spent as a volunteer for the organization performing programs, Executive Director duties, website construction, and daily operation needs of the organization. He has both an AS and BS degrees in Environmental Studies. He works part time as a teacher at a local High School and Middle School. He has also been a seasonal Naturalist/Interpretor at Letchworth State Park in Castile, NY. Paul was the Senior Naturalist for the Buffalo Audubon Society for more than 8 years and has run his own successful business' in the past . He has been in hundreds of classrooms educating thousands of individuals of all ages.
Naturalists We have several per-dium and volunteer naturalists who have a variety of backgrounds and education in education and nature.