New Leader at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

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Ed Stevenson has been named the new executive director of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. But don’t be surprised if he looks familiar, as Stevenson has been acting director since November of 2016. He also previously served as Director of Golf Operations. He comes to this role with a strong background to move the district forward.

“Being familiar with the District and already having relationships with the staff is an important start for anyone being in the role of executive director. It’s great knowing that the board is already familiar with me, they’ve been willing to express confidence in me, both in projects they’ve supported in the past as well as in their vote for me moving into this position,” said Stevenson.

One of the first things he’ll do in that position is begin the initiation of a new master plan- the first time since the early 90’s that they’ll take a comprehensive look at all of the district’s operations and plan and prioritize what’s important to constituents, stakeholders and interest groups.

He’ll also continue to lead the momentum on major projects that are underway.

“One of the high priority projects we see as we role into construction season is a new fleet maintenance facility out at the Blackwell property. We’re also getting ready for a bridge improvement project at McDowell Grove, which I think a lot of people are excited about, it’s going to improve the infrastructure for the bridge and the trail which is really highly used and enjoyed by the public,” added Stevenson.

An average of two percent of a DuPage County homeowner’s tax bill funds the district’s budget. As stewards of nearly 26,000 acres of open space and with over 60 preserves, his goal is to ensure that land is the best it can be for its users.

“We move into a mode now where we have the opportunity to look at how we utilize this open space, how we can make our natural areas better, and really add to quality of life by finding more ways to help people connect with nature,” said Stevenson.

More than 4.2 million people visit the District’s forest preserves each year.

Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.