Someone to Know: Kim Riehm

The Visitor Service’s team is the front line of customer care and service at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. The four-person crew interacts with visitors on a daily basis answering questions, handling requests for service, issuing permits and making reservations for programs and facilities. Team member Kim Riehm beams with enthusiasm as she talks about working in Visitor Services, where she spreads awareness about each preserve’s uniqueness and diversity and the magic that nature holds.

What are some of your responsibilities working in Forest Preserve District Visitor Services?
My role is to ensure our forest preserve visitors have positive experiences. We manage and field more than 21,000 phone calls and 3,000 walk-ins annually, helping patrons make reservations for the District’s six youth group camping locations and Blackwell Family Campground as well as 25-plus picnic and shelter areas. Some of our most popular areas include our six off-leash dog areas, five model aircraft fields and model and private boating locations, for which I issue annual permits. Providing specialty services such as daily photography permits for a bride’s upcoming wedding photo shoot can be such a rewarding experience. Our forest preserves truly do make the most picturesque photo ops for such special occasions.

Visitor Services is like the heart of the agency. Through phone calls, internet queries and walk-ins, we provide customers with information, answer their questions and make reservations for them. We provide excellent customer service and listen to our patron’s feedback to better serve DuPage County residents and those who value our forest preserves and our agency’s mission. No two days are the same in my position and after more than six years with the District, I’m still learning new things. 

What is your favorite activity to do within the preserves?
I love fitness and stay active by hitting our trails in my spare time. In the evenings and weekends, I like to bike or run on the trails of Timber Ridge Forest Preserve and the interconnecting Great Western and Prairie Path trails. The approximate 1.5-mile loop offers a great workout and scenic views of the West Branch DuPage River and the historic Kline Creek Farm

Why do you enjoy working for the Forest Preserve District?
I truly love this agency and what we stand for. Every morning on my way to work as I drive through Danada Forest Preserve, I am filled with pride knowing I work for the organization that maintains such gems throughout our county. Each of our 60 DuPage preserves is uniquely special. 

Equally rewarding is the phenomenal four-person team I work with every day and who have become close friends. I also love working with all the District employees, who are the backbone of our agency.

What do you like to do for fun in your time away from work?
I like to spend time with my friends and family. I also enjoy walking my dogs and spending time with my talking scarlet macaw, Tony.  

What inspires you in nature? Why do you like to share that with others?
The mystery and magic of nature really inspire me. Spending even a short amount of time outdoors offers a therapeutic experience. From the serenity to the spectacular views of seasonal changes, our preserves offer a charm that undoubtedly awes.  

Educating others and sharing these experiences with those around me has become a daily goal of my work. A simple visit to one of our preserves can relieve stress and offer a new perspective. Danada, Mallard Lake, and St. James Farm are some of my favorite forest preserves to spend time in. I encourage everyone to discover some favorites as well!

Someone to Know: Volunteer Bob Young

Bob Young combines his love for nature and the water with volunteering for the District.

Someone to Know: Kline Creek Farm Volunteer Linda Frey

Linda Frey is a domestic arts interpreter for Kline Creek Farm, where she gets to bring history to life for visitors.

Someone to Know: Keith McClow

Keith McClow brings history to life as heritage education manager for the District.

Someone to Know: Dan Hebreard

District ranger loves sharing his passion for nature with visitors.

Someone to Know: Wayne Zaininger

As site manager for Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton and St. James Farm in Warrenville, Zaininger's work is centered on horses and the people who care for them.

Someone to Know: District Ecologist Dan Thompson

District ecologist has the perfect job to feed his love of nature and wildlife.

Someone to Know: Fullersburg Woods Volunteer Joan Schultheis

Retired teacher taps her love of nature at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center.

Someone to Know: Wayne Hill

Wayne Hill gets to step back in time in his role as heritage interpreter at Kline Creek Farm, an 1890s living history farm in West Chicago.

Someone to Know: Mark Dyer

Mayslake Community Outreach Specialist Mark Dyer wears many hats while helping ensure the numerous nature and cultural programs run smoothly at the Oak Brook estate.

Someone to Know: Austin Kopp

Golf Services Supervisor Austin Kopp makes sure every trip to the District's three golf course is on par with customer's expectations.

Someone to Know: Leigh Korreck

Willowbrook naturalist Leigh Korreck loves being able to connect people to nature and help them learn how to live in harmony with native wildlife in DuPage County.

Someone to Know: Dennis Buck

How would you like stepping back into a different century every day at work? That's what Kline Creek Farm heritage interpreter Dennis Buck does each day.

Someone to Know: Kim Riehm

From taking calls to reserving a picnic shelter to answering questions about forest preserves, no two days are alike for Visitors Services staff assistant Kim Riehm. And she wouldn't have it any other way.

Someone to Know: Cindy Hedges

Cindy Hedges is all about connecting people to nature in her role as stewardship program coordinator. She also oversees the District's volunteer monitoring programs and the Native Plant Nursery at Blackwell Forest Preserve.

Someone to Know: Kendra Strubhart

As Mayslake's heritage interpreter, Kendra Strubhart is responsible for programming at the historic Oak Brook mansion.

Someone to Know: Mayslake Photo Instructor Chris Aquino

When he's not teaching cinema studies at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, he's helping folks hone their photography skills at Mayslake Peabody Estate.

Someone to Know: Mayslake Photo Instructor Fred Drury

Award-winning photographer Fred Drury brings his 50-plus years of photography expertise to you through his photography classes at Mayslake Peabody Estate.

Someone to Know: Mayslake Photo Instructor Hank Erdmann

Hank Erdmann specializes in nature photography, especially in the midwest. His primary areas of interest include midwestern prairies and hardwood forests.

Someone to Know: Mayslake Photo Instructor Will Clay

Will Clay's photography has been published in nine books and numerous natioanl publications, and now he brings his photographic expertise to you through his photography classes at Mayslake Peabody Estate.

Someone to Know: Eric Poggenburg

No two days are alike for ranger Eric Poggenburg, who enjoys connecting to nature even on his days off.

Someone to Know: Dr. Jennifer Nevis

Willowbrook staff veterinarian fuels her passion for animals and mentoring.

Someone to Know: Nikki Dahlin

District naturalist Nikki Dahlin's love of bugs may have started by accident, but it's been fueled by passion.

Someone to Know: David Sima

Senior ranger David Sima leads programs that teach skills for enjoying the great outdoors.

Someone to Know: Stephanie Touzalin

Wildlife enthusiast and artist Stephanie Touzalin is a naturalist at Willowbrook.

Someone to Know: Ron Skleney

Naturalist Ron Skleney loves birds and heads up our raptor program at Willowbrook Wildlife Center.

Someone to Know: Natural Resources and Grounds Management Crews

Our crews manage invasive and nonnative vegetation over the coldest months of the year.

Someone to Know: Chris Gingrich

Get to know Education Outreach Specialist Chris Gingrich.

Someone to Know: Marty Jandura

Ranger Marty Jandura is an avid fisherman and offers up some fishing tips.

Someone to Know

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