Fleets are judged on showing leadership with staff, customers and the community; staying efficient and competitive; overcoming challenges; and having a vision and direction for the operation. Ford sponsored the award, which is coproduced with the American Public Works Association.
The Forest Preserve District also ranked No. 34 in the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas Award for the ninth year in a row by the NAFA Fleet Management Association, the world’s largest membership association for fleet professionals.
“These awards reflect our ongoing commitment to operating green and being environmentally friendly,” said Forest Preserve District President Dan Hebreard. “The District strives to find innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum-based fuel dependency in its fleet.”
District fleet manager Michael Webster said the fleet is distinct in its variety of vehicles and focus on alternative fuels. Currently 95% of the District’s fleet of more than 170 vehicles is powered by alternative fuels — liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, ethanol, biodiesel, hybrid electric, and electric — and the District is committed to achieving a full alternative-fuel fleet as soon as possible.
“Our modern, more efficient fleet facility, which adheres to LEED standards, and our continued focus on alternative fuels contributed to these awards,” Webster said. “We continue to look for ways to improve operational efficiencies and quality to better serve the District.”
The District also helps area municipalities reduce their greenhouse emissions by allowing them to use its alternative fuel station, which is the only one in Illinois with four different alternative fuels.
In-house Forest Preserve District crews maintain standard passenger vehicles as well as specialized equipment such as mowers and tractors. The use of alternatives has lowered fuel expenditures, reduced tailpipe emissions, and lengthened vehicle lifespans. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 6.2 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers, and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, blog, Facebook, Twitter
and TikTok pages.