Campaign Phone (630) 336-4905
What personal background do you have, such as experience, skills and abilities, that uniquely qualifies you to serve on the Forest Preserve Commission?
Carl SchultzI have a degree in horticulture and own Horticultural Consultants. What I do for a living is to connect people with nature. My job also gives me a unique perspective into the operations of the District.
When I previously served as Commissioner, I was a team player that was given leadership roles. I served as Treasurer, Co-chaired the St. James Farm Committee, Chaired the Greene Barn Committee, and founded the ‘Friends’ foundation that raised over $1 million for the Forest Preserves. I always looked to build a consensus among my peers, accomplishing a lot for District 5 residents. I opened 6 new trails, opened a dog park, improved natural resources, completed phase 1 of the Greene Barn restoration and more.
I grew up in Naperville and have lived in Lisle and Aurora. This has allowed me to experience the different needs throughout all of District 5. Of particular concern is the severe lack of land and the complete lack of recreational/educational facilities West of Rt. 59.
What are your top priorities for the DuPage County Forest Preserve?
Carl SchultzTo provide opportunities for all County residents to have a quality forest preserve experience. It will be difficult to fulfill the District's vision of a “community in which all citizens share a connection with nature…” when significant areas have little land, no facilities and no direct access to the land that is nearby. So I am proposing a ‘Forest Preserve To Go’ program where we bring the forest preserves to the community. We could include educational and recreational opportunities with each visit.
To work hard with staff to explore practical ways to bring educational/recreational facilities into under-served communities. This will require innovative solutions to make the most with what little is there.
To improve the quality of our preserves by pursuing best scientific practices in our land management. Not only will this be a gift for us today, but it is a gift that we can pass on to many generations to come.
To be more effective and efficient with the money that we have.
Do you see a need to acquire more land to support future Forest Preserve plans?
Carl SchultzThere is a need to acquire more land, but it should be targeted on meeting specific needs of the District. Filling in the edges of a preserve can reduce operation costs. Adding land to connect preserves and trail links will provide a greenway that benefits both people and wildlife. As mentioned, there are some areas in the County that are severely under-served when it comes to forest preserve land, where even small additions of land would be welcome. Ultimately, the focus should be on improving the quality of our preserves and the quality of our experience in them.