Background Image

Who We Are

Lake County Forest Preserves Garners Coveted Awards


February 1, 2024 12:28 PM

Two Illinois organizations committed to advancing parks and recreation recognized the outstanding contributions of the Lake County Forest Preserves with four esteemed awards for excellence in public communications and design.

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) and Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) announced the honors at the recent Soaring to New Heights Conference, the largest state park and recreation conference in the nation.

The Forest Preserves secured second place in the top Overall Agency Showcase category. This acknowledgment encompassed the entire spectrum of print, digital and social media materials submitted. The team also earned:

  • 1st Place: Brochure–for Horizons magazine.
  • 2nd Place: Marketing Campaign–for the 25th anniversary of Hike Lake County.
  • 3rd Place: Social Media Campaign–for promotion of the Beer Garden at Independence Grove.

IAPD and IPRA are dedicated to advancing parks and recreation in Illinois and fostering exceptional standards for professionals in the field.

Competition proved intense, with more than 45 agencies vying for recognition across 13 categories. The panel of judges remarked that the Lake County Forest Preserves overall submission stood out as "beautiful, balanced, creative, recognizable and memorable," underscoring the exceptional quality that set them apart in the fiercely contested field. Entries were judged on creativity, design, organization, message and cohesiveness.

“We are elated to be honored with these prestigious accolades,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. “The recognition emphasizes our team’s passion and dedication to strengthening connections with the public, a commitment that ranks high among our priorities."

In bestowing Horizons with their top award, judges said, “the magazine is exceptional in its design and organization and beautifully branded.” 

The free quarterly magazine features articles and news about conservation, wildlife, trails, recreation, nature and history education. “Our team's talent and expertise are evident in every issue," said Jeanna Martinucci, communications and design manager and Horizons editor and designer. "It's deeply rewarding to receive this recognition." To receive the free quarterly magazine, visit

The culminating awards focused on two campaigns. The team orchestrated an extensive marketing campaign to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hike Lake County challenge, earning second place. The annual fall program is a way to encourage individuals to enjoy time outdoors and reconnect with nature while exploring trails. The team secured a third-place finish for a social media campaign centered around the Beer Garden at Independence Grove. The campaign reached more than 403,000 people, which resulted in nearly double the website traffic over the previous year.