Fourteen years ago I began my job as a ranger at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. As a University of Illinois grad in parks and recreation management and a lifelong resident of DuPage, I was ready to combine my professional interests with my love of our county’s forest preserves. Since then, my appreciation and understanding of the natural areas and great experiences the Forest Preserve District offers have grown even more, especially on days when my wife and I have been able to enjoy the preserves as a family with our two children.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of speaking with thousands of visitors about their likes as well as their concerns. It might have been during an archery or fishing program, along the line of a prescription burn, or while I was wrapping up garbage and latrine duty. Now as president, I get to see our District through a different lens. I am beyond excited to combine my formal education with what I have learned during my years as a ranger to work with our board to ensure the Forest Preserve District continues to connect people to nature for generations to come.
The Forest Preserve District’s mission is to protect and preserve the plants, animals and beauty of the preserves for all DuPage residents. I believe our board’s responsibility is to ever evaluate the best ways for visitors to enjoy those areas from a recreational and educational standpoint as well as a fiscal one. We are one of the highest-rated open-space agencies in the Midwest, and I’m confident we can only build upon that distinction.
Wishing you and yours all the best in 2019,
Daniel Hebreard President, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County