2006.06.09: June 9, 2006: Headlines: COS - Ecuador: Obituaries: Forestry: Vero Beach Press-Journal : Dedication to celebrate Ecuador RPCV Philip Myers' life

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ecuador: Peace Corps Ecuador : The Peace Corps in Ecuador: 2006.06.09: June 9, 2006: Headlines: COS - Ecuador: Obituaries: Forestry: Vero Beach Press-Journal : Dedication to celebrate Ecuador RPCV Philip Myers' life

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-245-111-32.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.245.111.32) on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 12:10 pm: Edit Post

Dedication to celebrate Ecuador RPCV Philip Myers' life

Dedication to celebrate Ecuador RPCV Philip Myers' life

Myers, a fervent environmentalist, worked as a biologist for the state park system, removing exotic plants choking native greenery. He picked up his passion for forestry in Ecuador while teaching natives about sustainable agriculture, Bailey said. Several years ago, he bought 400 acres of rainforest in Mera, Ecuador. Bailey said the family he stayed with while in the Peace Corps has been looking after the land. The whole town is devastated by his loss, she said.

Dedication to celebrate Ecuador RPCV Philip Myers' life

Dedication to celebrate Stuart cyclist's life

By MEGAN KENNY
megan.kenny@scripps.com

June 9, 2006

STUART Philip Myers was going to return to France for the third time this summer to follow the Tour de France course on his bicycle.

The avid cyclist rode his bike all over the United States, through Europe and even through the Andes Mountains, just for fun, said his friend, Mary Bailey.

Myers' passions for cycling and the environment will be celebrated Saturday, as friends and family gather at Jonathan Dickinson State Park to dedicate a plaque and a park bench in his memory.

Myers, 41, was killed by a drunken driver April 30 in Tequesta while out for a Sunday morning bike ride.

He often rode on the weekends, Bailey, who met Myers 18 years ago in the Peace Corps right before they were both sent to Ecuador.

"He was an amazing guy who's done a lot of things. A 60-mile ride was nothing for him," Bailey said. "This particular day, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Myers, a fervent environmentalist, worked as a biologist for the state park system, removing exotic plants choking native greenery.

He picked up his passion for forestry in Ecuador while teaching natives about sustainable agriculture, Bailey said. Several years ago, he bought 400 acres of rainforest in Mera, Ecuador.

Bailey said the family he stayed with while in the Peace Corps has been looking after the land. The whole town is devastated by his loss, she said.

"We want to preserve his legacy through promoting and preserving his chunk of rainforest," Bailey said.

Post Peace Corps, Myers got a master's degree in forestry from the University of Florida. After taking several jobs in South America one categorizing rare orchids in Ecuador and one helping coffee farmers in El Salvador with reforestation he finally landed in Florida, where he mentored a generation of biologists.

"He was very enthusiastic about his work, and made me be enthusiastic about it," said Jackie Isaacs, who met Myers three years ago when he hired her from Americorps. "That's something to say when you're out there in 90 degree weather, 100 percent humidity."

Isaacs, who now works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife biologist, knew she wanted to be a biologist, but credits Myers with giving her direction.

"I wouldn't be here without him," she said. "He'll be missed."

Anne Wall Cheron, 55, is charged with DUI manslaughter in the death of Myers. She's currently being held on $500,000 bond in the Martin County Jail.

According to court papers, Cheron had a blood alcohol level of .210 at 10:25 a.m., when she allegedly hit Myers and drug his bike under her car for three miles before she stopped.

Myers's family is driving down from Edistow Island, S.C. for the memorial, and friends are flying in from Chicago and California.

Bailey said their friends from the Peace Corps were a tight-knit group who kept in touch over the last 20 years.

They also take an annual trip to New Orleans for the Jazz Festival, a pilgrimage they made this year on May 4, just days after Myers' death.

"It was just so sad to know that from now on we wouldn't have one of our best friends," she said.

If you go

What: Dedication of a plaque and a bench in memory of Philip E. Myers.

When: 11 a.m. Saturday.

Where: The Jonathan Dickinson State Park district offices, which are north of the main park entrance next to the giant towers.





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Story Source: Vero Beach Press-Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ecuador; Obituaries; Forestry

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