Some people associate fall with the year winding down, but this is far from the case in the forest preserves. For color junkies, the landscape is kicking into high gear, and for people looking for ways to spend time in these scenic surroundings, so is our fall lineup of programs. (Don’t believe me? Check out the calendar.)
From an operational point of view, fall now also means the start of the Forest Preserve District’s budget-planning process. This past spring the Board of Commissioners voted to move the fiscal year start date from July 1 to Jan. 1. As with many of the efficiencies we’ve enacted during the year, the switch will help us streamline our bookkeeping efforts by putting us in sync with the tax-levy process.
This particular budget-planning season is taking place as we complete a significant endeavor: the creation of a new master plan, which will guide our efforts over the next five years. Based on what we know from our preliminary findings, which will help as we work on the budget, your neighbors have found several issues to be particularly important:
Providing ongoing maintenance, public safety, habitat restoration and environmental management at all forest preserves
Continuing to focus on efficiencies through shared services and partnerships benefiting the public
Maintaining our strong financial position, including our elite status of continued AAA ratings from Standard and Poor’s
Building on the success of recently completed projects such as The Preserve at Oak Meadows and our fleet facility
I look forward to working with our commissioners and staff to ensure DuPage remains home to some of the region’s best natural areas and experiences. Your DuPage forest preserves make up nearly 26,000 acres of open space, and fall is guaranteed to bring some amazing ways to make the most of them!
Joseph F. Cantore President, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County