Ensuring the Public Trust
We are committed to open and transparent government and work continually to provide access to financial information and proceedings of our Board of Commissioners so you can feel confident about our careful stewardship of your tax dollars.
To allow for effective public oversight of our data, a comprehensive source of frequently requested financial information is provided on this page. You'll find information and links to our annual budget, expenditures, audits and financial reports, administrative data, Board actions, and vendor contracts. If you don't see what you're looking for, simply email us your request.
Your Tax Money: How Each Dollar is Spent
We receive most of our funding through property taxes. Fees, other charges, grants, gifts, and donations make up the balance. We understand that it's your tax money and we are responsible and accountable for how each dollar is spent.
2023 Annual Budget
Budget Programs and Capital Expenditures
In order to continue moving toward our 100-Year Vision and Strategic Plan to preserve and sustain Lake County's natural landscape, and extend community outreach and education, the Board of Commissioners approves an annual budget. The 2023 budget totals $68,674,017 and covers expenditures for the fiscal calendar year of January 1 through December 31, 2023.
Below is a graph that breaks down our annual budget so you can see the distribution of funds for the 2023 budget year. Though accounted for in the graph, it's important to note that our golf courses are operated as enterprise funds, which means revenues from the courses cover their associated operating, maintenance and development costs. There is no direct tax levy to support golf operations.
Read our approved 2023 budget
A 21-member elected Board of Commissioners governs your Lake County Forest Preserves. They guide the agency's mission and approve all land acquisitions, restoration and improvement projects, educational and cultural programs, the annual budget and other administrative actions. Meet the Board, view meetings, agendas and minutes »
Our full-time, part-time and temporary employees are organized into seven work groups. We are also compliant with Public Act 97-0609 for total compensation data.
The Lake County Forest Preserves is a member of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) and compliant with Public Act 101-0504 for IMRF employer cost and participation information and related reports.
Doing Business With Us
Each year, we purchase millions of dollars of goods and services from a variety of contractors, vendors and businesses to help us complete large preserve and trail construction projects, implement land management efforts, acquire equipment and perform professional services. View our current bids and proposals »
The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows you to access public records you may not find on our website. We maintain a comprehensive set of procedures, instructions and forms for requesting records in accordance with our FOIA rules and regulations. Request public records »
Conservative Financial Management
AAA Bond Rating
We maintain a strong financial position with sound reserves, long-term replacement funds and moderate debt, which is why both Moody's Investor Services and Standard and Poor's continue to assign us their highest rating. We are one of very few forest preserve systems nationwide with a AAA bond rating, considered the gold standard in accounting and financial reporting. This superior rating helps us attain favorable interest rates on bond sales to protect more open space, restore wildlife habitat, create new trails and improve public access.
In recognition of our sound financial management and operations, we have received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award (23 consecutive years) and the Excellence in Financial Reporting Award (29 consecutive years) from the Government Finance Officers Association.