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Executive Director Recognized for Leadership in Sustainability

July 17, 2023 03:05 PM

Crain’s Chicago Business named Alex Ty Kovach, executive director of the Lake County Forest Preserves, a Notable Leader in Sustainability for 2023.

The leaders earning this designation “are innovating, and then some, on sustainability’s ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra,” according to a story announcing the winners in Crain’s.

Kovach said he is thrilled that he and the Lake County Forest Preserves are being recognized for their sustainability efforts. “I am honored that our organization’s work is valued and acknowledged in the Chicago area,” Kovach said. “Sustainability is now included in every aspect of the Forest Preserves operations.”

“Kovach leads one of the top conservation agencies and the second-largest forest preserve district in Illinois. He is responsible for 31,053 acres of natural land, 209 miles of trail and dozens of cultural, historic and recreational facilities,” according to a July 17 Crain’s profile.

Kovach’s recent accomplishments include the planning and construction of four net-zero-energy buildings, the restoration of hundreds of acres across multiple preserves, and $4.6 million raised for a new endowment to benefit the Forest Preserves in perpetuity, according to the profile.

Other efforts include reducing mowed turf across multiple preserves, transitioning to hybrid passenger vehicles and introducing electric light-duty maintenance vehicles.

“These leaders have devised ingenious ways to recycle all sorts of objects, from railroad ties to industrial boilers,” the story said. “They are conserving our area's local forests, expanding our green spaces, tackling threats to our abundance of clean water and cleaning up neglected areas in underserved communities. Together, their efforts are setting the stage for a greener future.”

“I am incredibly proud of Ty and his entire staff for the sustainable practices that we focus on so heavily,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. “Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of future generations, while ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being.”