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Dupage County Forest Preserve District 4

The Forest Preserve District is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, which translates the open-space needs of county residents into ordinances designed to protect and enhance natural areas and support general operations.

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    Jeff Gahris
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Tim Whelan
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What personal background do you have, such as experience, skills and abilities, that uniquely qualifies you to serve on the Forest Preserve Commission?

What are your top priorities for the DuPage County Forest Preserve?

Do you see a need to acquire more land to support future Forest Preserve plans?

I have had a 35-year career as an environmental scientist and engineer, working with all levels of government on complex technical and community issues in both urban and rural areas. I have an understanding of how grant programs work, and have applied for, reviewed, and managed grant monies. I have been involved in community outreach and community activism, worked in leadership roles as volunteer for Sierra Club and other environmental organizations, and served as a Glen Ellyn Environmental Commissioner for 12 years. My wife and I have a solar-powered home, and I have made numerous public presentations regarding the benefits of residential solar energy. I understand some of the complexities of public policy regarding solar power, which can be of value to the Commission.
My top priorities are to: • Emphasize restoration and preservation of natural areas as a core Forest Preserve District mission. • Advocate for trail improvements and developing regional plus interconnecting trails to maximize opportunities for everyone to have access to and become immersed in nature. • Expand the use low-cost solar energy in the Forest Preserve District for cleaner air.
Unlike the aggressive land acquisition that was common in decades past, the priority now should be to strategically acquire certain parcels that have high value as natural areas. There has been a past effort to identify the highest quality natural areas that should be preserved. This includes lands that help create wildlife corridors or trail access, while focusing on improving the quality of existing holdings through restoration efforts.
Not so much different than other folks growing up with a love of nature and conservation of our land and water. Being part of a large military family, vacations were camping, hiking, fishing in the beauty of our National Parks and military bases. Scouting (Eagle Scout) in all of those States and places, gave me the love of conservation and preservation of green space. Coming to DuPage 40 years ago I was impressed by the acres of beauty of DuPage Forest Preserves...the prairies, forests, trails and serenity. Being a Forest Preserve Commissioner gives me the opportunity to make the decisions that assure the beauty of nature for our children, the maintenance of our prairies and forest and the conservation of the green space that adds to the quality of living in the DuPage community. The unique opportunity I am honoured to have as a DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioner.
Implementing the Forest Preserve of DuPage master plan. With the help of public input, volunteer assistance, lots of staff time, energy and commitment, the FP Board has approved a Final Five-Year Master Plan. This is the “putting into action” the Strategic Plan developed over that last few years I have served as District 4 Commissioner. I encourage you to go to the master plan to see more than 400 projects we considered for preservation and growth of the 26,000 acres of green space and multiple facilities. My priorities are to accomplish the top, most pressing projects our Board and staff have spent months identifying and finally approving. Take a look On line! ....But as District 4 Commissioner, I want to see the District acquire 52 acres at Community Park in Carol Stream. That land and Winfield Creek needs to be Forest Preserve. Restoration and reuse of the McKee House site in Churchill Woods needs to be done, East Branch DuPage River Trail must become reality; build it...!
Acquiring land is the first duty stated in our Forest Preserve mission. It is a commitment to available land acquisition I consider part of my oath as a Forest Preserve Commissioner. I have been proud to be part of the decisions that the Forest Preserve DuPage Board has made implementing the Forest Preserve of DuPage master plan. With the help of public input, volunteer assistance, lots of staff time, energy and commitment, the FP Board has approved a Final Five-Year Master Plan. This is the “putting into action” the Strategic Plan developed over that last few years I have served as District 4 Commissioner. My priorities are to accomplish these projects that have been identified to enhance our preserves. Acquiring land, especially to aid in storm water management, remains a top priority when the opportunity arises.