About Wild Spirit
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 animals. Our founder and Senior Rehabilitator, Paul Fehringer trained dozens of 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.
Wild Spirit Education has been performing education programs throughout WNY for more than 20 years.
Wild Spirit expanded its programs in 2011 and completed new habitat/cages for our educational raptors. We mnow 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.
During 2020-2021 Wild Spirit was hit hard by the covid pandemic and had to downsize our organization as we had no income to feed and care for our educational animals. We switched to virtual education to continue to fulfill our mission. In 2021, as schools and eldercare facilities began to reopen we began to get back into in person education. We have restructured the organization to run more smoothly and to hopefully strengthen the organization to protect us from another possible shutdown.
Staff: Wild Spirit does not have any full time salaried employees. Some of our naturalist/educator staff is per dium while others are volunteers. Our directors, manager and education director are all volunteers..
Current Wild Spirit Board of Directors
Richard Kingston- president
Jay Kecklek – vice president
Paul Fehringer – treasurer
Charles Bartlett – secretary
Wild Spirit Education, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to enlightening others to the wonders of the natural world through conservation, preservation and environmental education.