Having the fire of life under your feet, even lapping at them from time to time is never a bad thing. If we ever take anything from death of a close friend, let it be to not take a single moment for granted. Act now in ways that you know will make a difference. In some ways, I hope to light fires under everyone’s feet!
(This is being reprinted nearly five years after first writing, with only a tiny bit of editing because the work we are doing is still just as important as it was five years ago. Bill’s enduring memory knows no time. Like the most ancient artists, Bill worked to render grace,crafted through action that reflect the art of clever living.)
A friend passed the veil today. He was an Earth Warrior before many of us were born. Continuing throughout his life to burn with the purpose and passion of a force of nature. As an Elder, he taught tirelessly about attaining a more sustainable and equitable relationship between humankind and the planet. His name, Bill Hurrle, has been attached to countless documents and decrees about the senseless nature of corporate outlaws, the shill governments that allow people to be poisoned for profit, and the rampant greed, inequality and destruction that it creates. He understood that clean air, water and healthy soil were our birthright.
Bill was one of my mentors. He helped inspire me to ride my bicycle around the Great Lakes, sharing my story and what I knew about living lightly on the planet. This trip, taken in 1987, brought a message of practicality, hope and sustainability to over ten million people living around the lakes.
Bill was also instrumental in the creation and sustenance of the MREA (Midwest Renewable Energy Association) This year, they are hosting the twenty-fifth annual Energy Fair in Custer Wisconsin, showcasing energy efficient technology, and providing workshops on hundreds of practical applications that each of us can use to gain energy independence. This event takes place on the weekend that falls closest to the summer solstice each year. Bill, like this event was one-of-a-kind. His topical writings and contributions to the “environmental movement” will be greatly missed, although a library of his works is in the making. His humility and grace were touchstones for many over the years, and losing his inspired focus will ripple through the community, the region, state of Wisconsin, the US, and reach across the Great Waters of the planet. He realized his soul purpose as water bearer long before I realized my own.
Amongst his many, great achievements, one of his most recent was the creation of a zero net energy home near Green Bay, Wisconsin. People familiar with our climate will appreciate what an awesome accomplishment that is! In winter, we only get about eight hours of sun if we are lucky, which makes our nights twice as long as the days! His remarkable place remains toasty even after several cloudy days, under extreme conditions. Eco-tours of Wisconsin has been blessed with the opportunity to help provide tours to see the home and to plant the denuded landscape and help rehabilitate forest on the land.
In tribute to this staunch defender of the earth, ECO-Tours of Wisconsin will be hosting several special events at his former home, and continuing the process of reforesting part of his family’s property. He was an early volunteer, even before ECO-Tours was formally organized, and through his participation planted many hundreds of native trees with us.
Please heed our call to support continued planting on the property that he so quietly protected by simply doing the right thing there, creating a home that would not burden, but uplift the planet and her people. His last request was to “make this place a genetic bank, use it as a playground and laboratory for permaculture.” We are continuing to build toward sustainability there, both with food production, native plants and trees, as well as occasional tours and classes. Donations toward his memorial garden can be sent to: ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. 1445 Porlier street, Green Bay, WI 54301-3334
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