Someone to Know: Leigh Korreck

Nothing gives Willowbrook Wildlife Center naturalist Leigh Korreck more joy than connecting people to wildlife. She is always looking for the unexpected when exploring a preserve, whether it be spotting an animal she has never seen before or watching the release of a bird that’s been nursed back to health. Korreck introduces visitors to native wildlife and teaches them how to live in harmony with them. 

What do you do at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County? How do you see that role support the District?
As a naturalist at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn, I help educate DuPage County residents and others about the animals that share living space with us right here in northern Illinois. In doing so I hope to help people live harmoniously with native wildlife and also create future conservationists.

What has been the best (or most interesting) part of your job at the Forest Preserve District?
One of my best experiences so far is being part of our on-site bird releases. For various reasons, animal releases are usually done at other preserves without much public attention, but migratory bird releases during peak migration times are often done right at Willowbrook. It is wonderful seeing an animal get a second chance at life, but what makes this even better is that during the release I get to explain to visitors the animal's natural history, the medical treatment it received at Willowbrook and where it might go after it is released. This makes for a much more memorable experience for visitors.       

What is your favorite preserve?
I have yet to explore all of the preserves, but at this point I would say either Waterfall Glen or Fullersburg Woods. I grew up enjoying the coastal upland forests of Michigan, and I am still drawn to any preserve with significant woodland. 

What is your favorite season in the DuPage Forest Preserves?
Winter! I love the quiet and solitude of a deep snow and to track. Last year, for the first time, I caught up to an animal I was tracking: a coyote. He was trotting along Willowbrook’s nature trail. 

What inspires you in nature? Why do you like to share that with others?
The unexpected; natural areas are places of true adventure. Seeing an animal or plant that I have never seen before, or was not expecting to find can be wondrous. No two walks in a preserve will be exactly the same. I hope that by sharing this feeling I can reconnect people with nature. 

Willowbrook naturalist Leigh Korreck and Tonka, one of the education raptors.

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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