MMLT is honoured that our dear friend Joel Byrne entrusted his beloved Big Creek property for us to care for in perpetuity. In this act, he fulfilled his dream of protecting forever this haven for wildlife and nature lovers, knowing that it would continue to touch the deepest needs of future generations.
Joel was not only a dear friend, but a passionate naturalist and strong and valued supporter of the Mississippi Valley, Macnamara and the Rideau Field Naturalists’ Clubs and of course, Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust to whom he bequeathed his beloved land. Those who had the privilege of knowing Joel understand what this means. For those who never had the opportunity, Joel was an exceptional friend to many and particularly to the natural world. Joel was a free spirit, always ready to travel but never more satisfied than in his wilderness. A gentle giant, he was so in tune with the natural world, always with a jar of peanuts and seeds for the furry and feathered creatures. He delighted to share his love of trees, ever ready with his hand lens hanging from his neck for a closer examination of bugs or just leaves. He was also a poet. A day trip to paradise is a poignant tale of a day spent at Big Creek. Another Poem is ‘The Last Butter and Eggs http://mvfn.ca/nature-notebook-the-last-butter-and-eggs/, the last verse a powerful message now that he is gone.
A soothing whisper issued forth,
Most cheering to the heart:
‘Do not lament my passing
Or the dying of the throng,
This is the way it happens—
A sleep, and then ere long
The reappearance of everything:
The leaves, the flowers, the song.’
Joel expressed his wish to live until he is 500 so he could see how his property would have matured and under MMLT care it will be future generations that will have those joys.
MMLT is grateful to Joel’s family for making his dream come true.
Bryne Big Creek is closed to public access until further notice.