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Forest Preserves Board Reelects Leadership

December 6, 2022 01:55 PM
Lake County Forest Preserve Logo

At a special meeting on Monday, December 5, the Board of Commissioners reelected Angelo Kyle of Waukegan (District 14) as president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. The Board also reelected John Wasik of Grayslake (District 6) to serve as vice president. Both will serve two-year terms ending December 2024. 

"I would like to thank my fellow Board members for the privilege of being reelected president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. It's a wonderful opportunity to continue leading this great organization and serving the citizens of Lake County,” Kyle said after he was named to a third term in the top post. "We are proud that residents value the forest preserves, which are experiencing attendance levels about 35% higher than before the pandemic. Nature has proved its worth as an outlet and resource benefitting people's overall physical, emotional and mental well-being."

Kyle, 65, served as president from 2018 to 2022. Prior, he served terms as vice president of the Lake County Forest Preserves from 1992 to 1994 and 2006 to 2008. In 2020, Kyle chaired the Steering Committee that worked on updating a set of five-year objectives in support of the Forest Preserves 100-Year Vision and Strategic Plan, which led to the Board’s adoption of the Road Map to 2025. "One initiative in the Road Map that means a great deal to me, and that I personally championed, is a focus on hiring a more diverse workforce and providing diversity training for staff," Kyle said.

During his first two terms as president, as well as throughout his previous tenure on the Forest Preserve Board, he was committed to advancing all facets of the agency's mission, serving on every standing committee and helping to double the size of the Forest Preserves. Under his leadership, the district recently received its highest approval rating ever in a countywide attitude and interest survey. Kyle also assisted in creating the Preservation Foundation in 2007 and served on its board of directors from 2010 to 2012, and was a voting member from 2018 to 2022.

Wasik 65, joined the Board in 2018. During the past two years, he has served as a voting member of the Preservation Foundation, and is on the finance, planning and rules committees. An avid hiker and bicyclist, he is a professional speaker, journalist, environmentalist and author of 19 books. 

As the newly elected leadership team, they will oversee more than 31,000 acres of natural lands, 209 miles of trails and a 2023 budget of $68,674,017. The calendar year 2023 budget represents a 20.2% decrease over the 2022 budget.

Leadership will continue with important projects including four net-zero energy buildings that are complete, under construction or in the engineering phase. Planned investments in GIS technology will greatly accelerate restoration efforts, allowing staff to efficiently track and analyze a variety of information, from floodplain acreage to wildlife populations, to tree branches that may be hazardous or blocking a trail. 

The Lake County Forest Preserves, the second largest district in the state, was created by referendum in 1958 and serves as principal guardian of Lake County's open space and natural areas. Its boundaries are the same as those of Lake County. The organization is managed by an elected board, made up of 19 commissioners who also serve as members of the Lake County Board.

Media contact: Alex Ty Kovach, Executive Director,, 847-968-3338