Someone to Know: Eric Poggenburg

Ranger Eric Poggenburg can be found in the preserves performing a variety of tasks, from leading a nature hike to working on a prescribed burn. Even when he’s not working, Poggenburg enjoys spending his free time in the preserves riding his bike or dropping a fishing line. He strongly encourages visitors to explore the preserves and take in their beauty. He especially appreciates the serene oasis provided by the preserves amid the hustle and bustle of the busier areas of DuPage County.

What are some of your responsibilities as a Forest Preserve District of DuPage County ranger?
I am responsible for providing the public with a high quality, safe and educational recreational experience. This is achieved through general park maintenance and keeping the parks clean and safe. Programming as well as hosting various special events are other integral aspects of being a ranger.

What has been the best (or most interesting) part of your job at the Forest Preserve District so far?
The variety of tasks I do in any given day is by far the most interesting part of my job. One day I have the opportunity to teach someone to shoot archery or catch a fish for the first time, while the next day I could be out managing our natural areas on a prescribed burn.

What would you like visitors to know about our natural areas and resources?
I strongly encourage visitors to get out and explore our preserves and experience the unique diversity of natural areas we manage in the county. With more than 25,000 acres and more than 60 preserves, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

What is your favorite preserve? Why?
My favorite preserve would have to be Herrick Lake. I live in Wheaton and often ride my bicycle on the paths throughout the preserve. There’s a good mix of shaded woodlands, open prairie and gently rolling savannas to enjoy. I also like the fact that the trails connect with several other neighboring preserves, allowing me to ride a large portion of mostly uninterrupted natural areas.

What question do patrons ask you the most? What is your answer?
Everybody wants me to tell them the best places to catch fish. I usually provide them with a fishing guide highlighting each lake in the county and what they’re stocked with. If I’ve had any recent contact with anglers and had a chance to find out what’s biting, I’ll pass that information along as well.

What is your favorite season in the DuPage Forest Preserves?
My favorite season in the preserves is fall. It’s hard to beat the spectacular color displays Mother Nature provides this time of year.   

What inspires you in nature? Why do you like to share that with others?
Nothing beats the peaceful and relaxing escape that nature provides from the hectic and busy urban areas we are mostly surrounded by in DuPage County. I like to share this with others because I feel it’s important for people to connect with nature and develop an appreciation for it in order to continue to provide others with the opportunity to enjoy it down the road.

Someone to Know: Keith McClow

Keith McClow brings history to life as heritage education manager for the District.

Someone to Know: Dan Hebreard

District ranger loves sharing his passion for nature with visitors.

Someone to Know: Wayne Zaininger

As site manager for Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton and St. James Farm in Warrenville, Zaininger's work is centered on horses and the people who care for them.

Someone to Know: District Ecologist Dan Thompson

District ecologist has the perfect job to feed his love of nature and wildlife.

Someone to Know: Fullersburg Woods Volunteer Joan Schultheis

Retired teacher taps her love of nature at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center.

Someone to Know: Wayne Hill

Wayne Hill gets to step back in time in his role as heritage interpreter at Kline Creek Farm, an 1890s living history farm in West Chicago.

Someone to Know: Mark Dyer

Mayslake Community Outreach Specialist Mark Dyer wears many hats while helping ensure the numerous nature and cultural programs run smoothly at the Oak Brook estate.

Someone to Know: Austin Kopp

Golf Services Supervisor Austin Kopp makes sure every trip to the District's three golf course is on par with customer's expectations.

Someone to Know: Leigh Korreck

Willowbrook naturalist Leigh Korreck loves being able to connect people to nature and help them learn how to live in harmony with native wildlife in DuPage County.

Someone to Know: Dennis Buck

How would you like stepping back into a different century every day at work? That's what Kline Creek Farm heritage interpreter Dennis Buck does each day.

Someone to Know: Kim Riehm

From taking calls to reserving a picnic shelter to answering questions about forest preserves, no two days are alike for Visitors Services staff assistant Kim Riehm. And she wouldn't have it any other way.

Someone to Know: Cindy Hedges

Cindy Hedges is all about connecting people to nature in her role as stewardship program coordinator. She also oversees the District's volunteer monitoring programs and the Native Plant Nursery at Blackwell Forest Preserve.

Someone to Know: Kendra Strubhart

As Mayslake's heritage interpreter, Kendra Strubhart is responsible for programming at the historic Oak Brook mansion.

Someone to Know: Mayslake Photo Instructor Chris Aquino

When he's not teaching cinema studies at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, he's helping folks hone their photography skills at Mayslake Peabody Estate.

Someone to Know: Mayslake Photo Instructor Fred Drury

Award-winning photographer Fred Drury brings his 50-plus years of photography expertise to you through his photography classes at Mayslake Peabody Estate.

Someone to Know: Mayslake Photo Instructor Hank Erdmann

Hank Erdmann specializes in nature photography, especially in the midwest. His primary areas of interest include midwestern prairies and hardwood forests.

Someone to Know: Mayslake Photo Instructor Will Clay

Will Clay's photography has been published in nine books and numerous natioanl publications, and now he brings his photographic expertise to you through his photography classes at Mayslake Peabody Estate.

Someone to Know: Eric Poggenburg

No two days are alike for ranger Eric Poggenburg, who enjoys connecting to nature even on his days off.

Someone to Know: Dr. Jennifer Nevis

Willowbrook staff veterinarian fuels her passion for animals and mentoring.

Someone to Know: Nikki Dahlin

District naturalist Nikki Dahlin's love of bugs may have started by accident, but it's been fueled by passion.

Someone to Know: David Sima

Senior ranger David Sima leads programs that teach skills for enjoying the great outdoors.

Someone to Know: Stephanie Touzalin

Wildlife enthusiast and artist Stephanie Touzalin is a naturalist at Willowbrook.

Someone to Know: Ron Skleney

Naturalist Ron Skleney loves birds and heads up our raptor program at Willowbrook Wildlife Center.

Someone to Know: Natural Resources and Grounds Management Crews

Our crews manage invasive and nonnative vegetation over the coldest months of the year.

Someone to Know: Chris Gingrich

Get to know Education Outreach Specialist Chris Gingrich.

Someone to Know: Marty Jandura

Ranger Marty Jandura is an avid fisherman and offers up some fishing tips.

Someone to Know

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