Earth Spirit Announces Partnership with Erie 2 BOCES
Schools looking to take advantage of the science-based programming offered by Earth Spirit now have the opportunity to do so much more affordably. A new partnership with Erie 2 BOCES allows us to increase our programming while decreasing the school's realized cost per program. Both the component School Districts within the Erie 2 BOCES service area, as well as those districts outside the Erie 2 service area, can take advantage of our new Co-Ser agreement with Erie 2 BOCES. This agreement allows each school to contract with Earth Spirit via BOCES for programming throughout the school year, with the cost of the programming being reimbursed 60-85% by BOCES the following school year. Existing scheduled programs for this school year can be included under this agreement. Click here for more details on this exciting partnership.
Students from Tapestry Charter School Continue Earth Spirit Teaching in the Classroom
This past Autumn, Earth Spirit led 1st and 2nd grade students from Buffalo's Tapestry Charter School on an outing covering geologic studies. The kids expanded upon the material presented by illustrating what they learned through the creation of educational posters. Click here to see some of their wonderful creations!
Earth Spirit's Wild Foraging Programs
are Making News
Earth Spirit has long provided guidance in the art of sustainable harvesting of wild plants and how they've been used through time in the practice of herbalism. This important work has caught the attention of both a major university and a local environmental coalition resulting in a cover story and online article.
The University at Buffalo's Alumni Association featured the work of our founder and co-director, Sandy Geffner, with a cover story and feature article in their Fall 2013 alumni magazine, UBtoday. The cover is pictured at right and you can read the online version of the article here.
Brooke Ayoub, who for many years organized Earth Spirit programs for a local Home School association, wrote a wonderful overview of our recent Wild Foods Hike and Gourmet Dinner. Brooke is doing an internship with Grow WNY, the outreach arm of the Western New York Environmental Alliance and her article was a featured posting in the Grow WNY blog. Read Brooke's glowing assessment here.
Earth Spirit Honors a Dear Friend
Our dear friend and long-time Board Member of Earth Spirit, Jim Casterline, passed away recently. Our first thoughts and recollections of Jim are of an avid outdoorsman and a passionate paddler. For Jim, being outdoors and especially being on the water was pure bliss. It was this love of Nature that brought him to Earth Spirit many years ago when he joined us on our first public program to the Florida Everglades. Subsequent to this trip, he participated in every Ecology Expedition that was offered by Earth Spirit and journeyed with us on numerous occasions to Algonquin Provincial Park and the Adirondack Mountains. In more recent years, when his failing health limited his ability to participate, he still joined us and, although restricted with some of our experiences, he did what he could and always had a good time.
Whether at a Board meeting or a program, Jim’s voice was always strong. Anyone who knew him was well aware that he didn’t hesitate to share his thoughts and opinions with others. Never bashful, he didn’t mince words. He said what he felt and there was never much doubt where he stood on a particular subject, unless of course, you were not attuned to his unique brand of humor or sarcastic wit. Ever the jokester, Jim often did his best to keep you wondering and guessing.
We all have our own way of saying good-bye to loved ones. For Jim, he didn’t care much for ceremonies so there were no formal arrangements for a funeral. That was Jim. We shared our connections with him and our feelings for him, individually and privately. And some of Jim’s paddling friends honored his presence in their lives recently with a memorial paddle at Black Creek in Churchville.
Jim's dedication to the work we do at Earth Spirit continues after his passing with the inclusion of our organization as one of only a few named to which memorial contributions could be made. We are honored that Jim chose to have his legacy live on in this way. Contributions in Jim's memory can be made through our
Join Us page and will be used to support the work to which he personally was dedicated for so long.
Paddle on, dear friend. May the wind be ever at your back.
Earth Spirit Provides Tips on Wild Foods Foraging:
WGRZ's 2 the Outdoors
Winter Brings Enhanced Opportunities to Track Wildlife:
Our co-directors discuss and demonstrate the excitement of seeking out wild critters during Winter on WGRZ-TV's 2 the Outdoors segment.
Survival Skills Featured:
Local news station WGRZ-TV featured the work and wisdom of Earth Spirit educators Scott Lembitz and Maris Grundy in a film report on wilderness survival skills. The video is available for viewing online through WGRZ's website.
Earth Spirit to Design Trail System in Chaffee:
Waste Management of Chaffee has turned over a $5000 grant to Earth Spirit Educational Services to be used in designing and maintaining trails at the Chaffee Wildlife Preserve. This property, owned by Waste Management, serves not only as a landfill buffer for nearby residents, but also provides a variety of important habitat for wildlife, including aquatic, grassland and mature forest communities. Work on the trail system should begin in Spring of 2012.
Waste Management of Chaffee manager Tom Lewis (at left) presents Earth Spirit staff Sandy Geffner, Mary Jo Graham & Scott Lembitz the $5000 grant following an interpretive program at the site.
Former UB/Earth Spirit Students Become "Media Darlings:"
Two former students of our founder Sandy Geffner (who also is on faculty at the University at Buffalo) have begun producing a bi-monthly video magazine called Lookin' At It: A Nature Show. The March 2012 video features our Co-director/Naturalist, Scott Lembitz, discussing survival techniques. The film is available for viewing on YouTube (see below). Language advisory for young and sensitive individuals.
Lookin' At It: A Nature Show
Earth Spirit Takes Over Cleveland Hill Elementary
Earth Spirit's Earth Day program, where our instructors take over instruction for the entire school for the day, was featured in a MetroWNY story in April of 2011.