As a youngster, Derek played, hiked, and admired wildlife in and around his hometown of Barrington. He also fished, canoed, swam and water-skied in the area’s beautiful rivers and lakes.
Derek had a warm and engaging personality; and could light up any setting with his energy and enthusiasm. Growing up, he showed a talent for leadership in numerous clubs, activities and sports. And he was always eager to explore with his family, enjoying frequent trips to local, regional and national parks, from the Everglades to the Redwoods.
Upon reaching college-age, Derek chose to study at Winona State University in Minnesota. He excelled in his studies and campus activities (which included hosting a live music show on KQAL radio and playing Ultimate Frisbee on WSU’s team.) Through the school’s Outdoor Education and Recreation club, Derek went on many excursions around the U.S., and through WSU’s Pacific Challenge program--he also studied abroad in New Zealand and Australia.
In his junior year at WSU, Derek was thriving as a Commercial Recreation major and Communications minor. He had detailed plans for his future and legions of loyal friends, when he perished in a tragic snowboarding accident on April 8, 2018.
The sudden loss of Derek Harms has impacted many. Derek is missed immeasurably. In an effort to keep in motion the spirit of community involvement and outdoor enjoyment that Derek embodied, the Harms family has partnered with the Lake County Preservation Foundation to dedicate this beautiful setting dedicated in loving memory of Derek. It will serve as a spot for reflection, rejuvenation and celebration of the quiet majesty of nature.