Commissioner Jeff Gahris — District 4
Jeff Gahris was elected to the Forest Preserve District board of commissioners in Nov. 2020.
A 30-year resident of DuPage County, Gahris has been an active volunteer for numerous organizations, including the Sierra Club’s River Prairie Group, the DuPage Clean Energy Coalition, Illinois Solar Energy Association, and Citizens Climate Lobby. He worked for state and federal agencies implementing Clean Air Act programs and regulations for 36 years before retiring.
Gahris also served as an environmental commissioner for the village of Glen Ellyn for 12 years, exploring how to best manage parkway trees, refuse and recycling, and helping place bronze statues in various outdoor locations.
His’ priorities include helping the Forest Preserve District cost-effectively increase its use of renewable energy, preserving and restoring our natural heritage, and providing public access to green space. He’s very excited to see solar panels have been installed at Willowbrook Wildlife Center, and looks forward to the completion of an important segment of the West Branch DuPage River Trail.
An avid solar energy enthusiast, Gahris is also interested in exploring permaculture and the local food economy. One of his favorite volunteer activities is working on native habitat restoration projects at Churchill Woods’ Glacial Ridge area, or with the Glen Ellyn Park District, which includes occasional prairie burns. He’s also interested in the history of Glen Ellyn, and has given public presentations about the introduction of electricity to the area.
Gahris enjoys hiking in DuPage forest preserves. His favorite trails are at West DuPage Woods, Blackwell’s McKee Marsh and St. James Farm. He has enjoyed woodlands since childhood when his family had 7 acres of woods to play in.
He values the Forest Preserve District as a wonderful amenity with some high-quality natural areas. “The District is a precious resource for all DuPage residents to enjoy and appreciate,” he said.
Gahris has a masters degree in environmental science from the Institute of Environmental Sciences at Miami University. He and his wife live in Wheaton.
Years of service
Forest Preserve District Commissioner (Dec. 2020 – Present)