The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County welcomed three new members to its Board of Commissioners: Tim Whelan of Wheaton, District 4; Mary Lou Wehrli of Naperville, District 5; and Shannon Burns of West Chicago, District 6. They and re-elected commissioners Marsha Murphy of Addison, District 1; Joseph Cantore of Oakbrook Terrace, District 2; and Linda Painter of Hinsdale, District 3, were sworn in to their positions in a ceremony Dec. 3 at the Forest Preserve District headquarters, 3S580 Naperville Road in Wheaton.
Forest Preserve District President D. “Dewey” Pierotti Jr. led the festivities.
“I’m looking forward to working with the new members of our board, who all bring with them a dedication to good governance and support for our open spaces,” Pierotti said.
The three new officials have a diverse array of experience.
Tim Whelan has served in leadership positions in many service organizations and cites being an Eagle Scout and in scouting for his appreciation of nature and conservation. Whelan will support sound environmental and financial management practices in his role as commissioner.
“I intend to preserve the green spaces we are blessed with in DuPage County and also be a good steward of taxpayers’ ‘green’ contributions to the agency,” said Whelan.
Whelan is a practicing attorney with a focus on family law and civil litigation in DuPage County for 32 years. He is married to Sylvia, and they have three sons. The Whelan family resides in Wheaton.
Mary Lou Wehrli is a strong supporter of trails and fiscal clarity. She has served as a Naperville Park District commissioner and is proud of her role in the cooperative efforts of the Forest Preserve District, the City of Naperville and the Naperville Park District to build the West Branch Regional Trail.
“My grandfather once said, ‘Any community worth living in is worth doing something for,’ and those wise words have always inspired me to be a vigorous participant in local affairs,” commented Wehrli, who wants to increase citizen awareness and appreciation for DuPage County’s forest preserves.
Wehrli is a graphic designer and property manager. She and her husband are Naperville residents.
Shannon Burns first took notice of the district after she and her husband moved to a home in West Chicago neighboring Blackwell Forest Preserve.
“I love the outdoors, and I’m so excited to help residents become more connected to their open spaces,” said Burns.
Her priorities while serving on the Board of Commissioners include increasing the public’s involvement with the district and strengthening the agency’s commitment to improving natural areas.
“I’m pleased to bring my unique qualifications to this important role,” added Burns.
She notes that her background as a small-business owner gives her insight into management and budgeting, and that her experience as a natural-resources steward provides knowledge of best practices for habitat restoration.
Established in 1915, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County manages over 25,000 acres of prairies, woodlands and wetlands. Each year, over 4.3 million visitors enjoy the District’s 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers, and scores of scheduled programs and events. To learn more, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org.