As a child, Myles Darrell wanted to be a bus driver, but not because he loved exciting modes of transportation. It was because he wanted to make other people happy. “It looked like a really important part of the community,” he remembers. “I needed to take the bus to go to school. We went on the bus to do the fun things I’d like to do. I’d be part of everybody’s fun and everybody’s accomplishments.”

Darrell, now 48 and a father of two, didn’t become a bus driver. Instead, he found a different way to serve our community, as well as his scientific passions, as head of natural heritage at the Bermuda National Trust. His is a vast and varied role that he has embraced to the fullest. He has helped plant over 500 native or endemic trees every year since joining five years ago; he oversees conservation management plans, monitors bluebirds, arranges nature tours and projects, runs after-school programmes, is a Duke of Edinburgh Award assessor and a successful vegetable grower. “We’ve given away over 1,000 pounds of vegetables to charities as a result of our living ground cover methods that we’re using to transition forests from invasive to native and endemic,” he says. “I love being part of that and seeing people excited about food.”

Evaluating his career so far, there is a lot he is proud of but, most of all, it’s the community connections he has made, particularly among those whom the National Trust has struggled to engage with in the past. He is particularly proud of the way the Trust was able to celebrate Malcolm Outerbridge, installing a memorial bench at the Sherwin Nature Reserve South to mark the 10th anniversary of his tragic death. “That was a huge deal to me,” says Darrell. “He was a good young man and another son of the soil, and so celebrating him brought me a lot of pride.”

Darrell has worked closely with CURB (Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda) to strengthen the Trust’s appreciation of diversity and inclusion. Last year they reinterpreted the signage at Spittal Pond around Jeffrey’s Cave. Over time, Darrell has developed a group of black ecologists and environmentalists. “I’ve really enjoyed working with them to get a better understanding of what we think the community needs to gel,” he says. “I really want to see Bermudians be proud of what we are and what we have and be part of preserving and protecting it for everyone.”

See all of our Bermudians of the Year here