Lake County News: February 2019

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February 15, 2019

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Dear Neighbor,

 It is now just over 60 days since I was sworn in as Chair of the Lake County Board, and I'm proud of what our board has accomplished around transparency and accountability in this short amount of time:

  • Filming of all standing committee meetings, scheduled to begin with committee meetings taking place the week of February 25
  • Sponsorship of state legislation to give the board authority to remove the chair. While this position is appointed by the board, the board does not have authority to remove the chair. 
  • Vendor disclosure forms: vendors submitting proposals to contract with Lake County must now disclose campaign contributions made to county board members, the chair, and countywide elected officials. Names of family members working at Lake County must also be disclosed. While these relationships and contributions cannot (by law) be part of the decision-making process, it provides important transparency for residents and taxpayers.
  • The elimination of procurement cards for county board members 
  • The creation of Energy and Environment committee, responsible for issues pertaining to sustainability, the county's carbon footprint, and environmental policy

In my new role I have been busy meeting with organizations across Lake County and the Chicagoland area on a variety of topics, including transportation, air quality, public health, economic development, housing, and veteran services.  We are also hosting regional roundtable meetings with leaders across Lake County to discuss opportunities for sharing services, collaboration on priorities, and ensuring we are working together for the residents of Lake County. Every month I report to my colleagues on my previous month's work; I've included it here for your reference

As always, it is an honor to represent you on the Lake County Board and the Forest Preserve Board. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

Sandy Hart Signature

LCFPD Greenbelt Cultural Center

TOMORROW! Local Government Job Fair 

Saturday, Feb. 16, 9am-12pm, Greenbelt Cultural Center, 1215 Green Bay Rd., North Chicago
Attend and meet face-to-face with several of Lake County's government employers  All the agencies at our job fair have open positions they seek to fill. Organizations that will be in attendance include the City of Zion, Deerfield Park District, Lake County Forest Preserves, Park District of Highland Park, Village of Buffalo Grove, Village of Lincolnshire, Waukegan Park District, and Waukegan Community Unit School District 60. These organizations are looking to fill full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions.

Tips for Success: Dress professionally—first impressions go a long way. Bring multiple copies of your resume. Bring a friend. All job seekers are welcome. Prepare a brief but effective “pitch” to let the people you meet get to know you. For questions or information, call 847-367-6640.
Learn more >>

2019 Profiles in Excellence

SUNDAY! Profiles in Excellence: Power of Words
Join us for an inspiring afternoon on Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Greenbelt Cultural Center (1215 Green Bay Rd., North Chicago) in honor of Black History Month at the 36th annual Profiles in Excellence event: Power of Words with special guest speaker, Conni Marie Brazelton. Brazelton is an actress, born in Waukegan, known for her roles in The People Under the Stairs (1991), ER (1994) and Soldier (1998). There will be presentations, a performance by the Waukegan High School Choir, community honorees and refreshments. FREE admission. All ages. No registration required. Learn more »

Senior Citizen Tax Deferral Program: Due March 1st!
Senior citizens may defer part or all of their property taxes on their personal residence if they qualify for the Senior Citizen Tax Deferral program. Your application will be filled out by the Lake County Treasurer's Office using the information you provide. All applications must be submitted by March 1.

  • Applicants must be 65 years old or older as of June 1 of the tax year claimed.
  • Total household income must be $55,000 or less.
  • This is a State loan with a 6% simple interest rate per year.
  • Learn more about this program

LCFPD Booker T. Washington Club

New Special Exhibition at the Dunn Museum until Feb. 24
Celebrate African American History Month by learning about the Booker T. Washington Progressive Club, an African American-led civic organization located in Zion, IL, from 1936–1982. The Club’s mission was to unite individuals “interested in promoting the cause of good citizenship, better civic relations and any topic that improved local relationships.” This special exhibition runs  through Feb. 24 at the Dunn Museum (Libertyville). The Dunn Museum is located in the General Offices of the Lake County Forest Preserves at 1899 W. Winchester Road and is within walking distance from multiple Pace bus stops. Plan your visit today »


FoxConn Impact Study Discussion                                 6pm Thursday, March 7 in the Great Room,       University Center, 1200 University Drive in Grayslake

Please join us at an upcoming Stormwater Management Commission meeting to hear the results of the recent study on the potential impacts of the FoxConn development underway in Wisconsin. Many government entities, including the Lake County Board, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (LCSMC), numerous Lake County communities, and the State of Illinois, have expressed urgent concern and passed resolutions asking Wisconsin to reconsider the waivers given for this development. At the SMC Meeting on March 7th, initial study results will be presented with a proposed 30-day public review period. This is your opportunity to learn more about the study outcomes and to get answers to your questions related to development in the Des Plaines watershed.

Why work Lake County large

Lake County is Hiring!
Lake County is currently hiring a number of positions, including nurses, corrections officers and a summer wetland internship. View current job opportunities.

Professional growth opportunities, abundant career choices, jobs that provide variety and the chance to make a meaningful difference are just a few of the reasons Lake County employees love working for us. 

Watch this video and see what makes Lake County a great place to work.

Summer Youth Employment Program large

Summer Youth Employment Program 2019
Applications for the 2019 Lake County Summer Youth Employment Program are now being accepted through March 31! The program, funded by the Lake County Board, provides meaningful work experiences for participants, who will work at various sites in Lake County, including private employers and nonprofit organizations, local municipalities and community-based organizations.  Applicants should be age 14 to 18 (by April 15) or age 14 to 22 with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

LCFPD summer camp

Where Will Your Kids Grow This Summer?
Registration for our 2019 camp season is now open. Camps are led by professional educators trained in supervision, safety and activity development. Early bird discounts are available through Feb. 15. Programs fill quickly so enroll early. Register online today »

LB bridge

Replacement of Pedestrian Bridge in Lake Bluff 

On Tuesday, the County Board authorized the execution of an agreement with the Village of Lake Bluff for the replacement of the pedestrian/bike bridge on the Robert McClory Bike Path over Route 176, appropriating $100,000 of County Bridge Tax funds. The Village approved the agreement at their January 28, 2019 board meeting, and will be the lead on the project and will own and maintain the bike path bridge. The Village secured an Illinois Department of Natural Resources bike path grant to cover 30% of the cost. The County will reimburse the Village for the County’s share of this project. 

January 2019 County Board Wrap-Up

County Board Wrap-Up
The Lake County Board meets monthly to approve funding and make policy decisions that have an impact on various public services and programs, from health to transportation to courts and public safety. In this County Board Wrap Up, find out how grants are a critical funding source to improve residents’ mental and physical health, and learn about a new study that aims to help users of Lake County bike and walking paths find their way.  Watch Video.

The County Board addresses many important issues through the standing committees. The County Board has 10 standing committeesView agendas.  You can also sign up to receive notifications of all County committee and board meetings through the County’s Notify Me® tool.

Lake County Advances Local Justice System Reform
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced a $700,0000 grant to Lake County to continue building on efforts to reform the local criminal justice system and safely reduce the Lake County Jail's population. The grant is part of the Safety and Justice Challenge. In partnership with local organizations and community members, the Sheriff’s Office is leading the comprehensive plan for local justice system reforms with the goal of reducing the average daily jail population by at least 10 percent over the next two years. Some of the key strategies and initiatives to achieve this goal and create a safer, more effective system include:

  • Intensive case management to refer services for people involved in the justice system to stop them from cycling in and out of the jail and reduce their recidivism
  • Education and training on racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system
  • Text reminders to Public Defender’s Office clients to prevent missed court dates and warrants being generated that bring an individual back to jail

We are honored to receive the recognition and grant funding to do this important, life-changing work.

LCFPD monarchs

Grant Helps Songbirds, Monarchs and Students
Supported by funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a $77,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Coastal Program grant will benefit habitat restoration efforts and environmental education outreach at Greenbelt Forest Preserve (North Chicago). 

Grant funds will help restore 20 acres of wetland habitat and 20 acres of mesic prairie within the preserve, and be used to plant native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plant species in the restored areas. The project goal is to expand existing habitat for migratory songbirds and purple milkweed (Asclepias pupurascens), a regionally uncommon and favored host plant of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Coastal Program priority species. As part of the grant funding, Forest Preserve education staff will help connect over 1,000 students to this habitat restoration project through field trips and classroom programs. 


Volunteers Work Overnight at Point-in-Time Homeless Count
I joined volunteers, including fellow County Board members, County staff, and dedicated residents, to take part in the annual Point-In-Time Homeless Count, searching across Lake County to help document the need in communities by gathering data and providing outreach to the homeless. Volunteers made contact with 29 people experiencing homelessness, compared to 24 last year. Pictured here is my group; we drove and walked around our assigned territory seeking unsheltered people and connecting them with resources. Learn more about this year’s Point-In-Time Homeless Count and find out how you can make a difference in ending chronic homelessness. Watch Video.

Road to Reinstatement

Road to License Reinstatement 

Nationwide, individuals are unable to restore or renew their driving privileges based on inability to pay outstanding fees and fines. Unable to drive, this often prevents individuals from obtaining or maintaining employment so they can support themselves and their family. To combat this issue, the Lake County Board, along with the 19th Judicial Circuit, Lake County Bar Association, Lake County Circuit Clerk, Lake County Public Defender, and other partners launched the new Road to License Reinstatement Pilot Program, which provides qualified individuals the ability to get their license renewed or reinstated.

Nearly 30 Lake County residents attended an education session to learn more about this pilot program, along with Illinois rules of the road and driver safety, and Lake County employment and training resources.

New laws 2019

New Illinois Laws for 2019
More than 250 new laws have gone into effect in Illinois, as of Jan. 1. This includes a new requirement for children to sit in a rear-facing car seat, background checks for ride operators, and expanded stalking laws to include messages via social media.

Myths to flu

It’s Not Too Late to Get A Flu Vaccine
There are many myths about the flu vaccine. Watch this video as Jennifer Gassman, a nurse practitioner at the Lake County Health Department tackles some common myths.

The Lake County Health Department offers the flu vaccine by appointment at its immunization clinics and community health centers across the county. Many doctor’s offices, retail locations and pharmacies also offer the vaccine. To find a location near you, use the vaccine finder.

Health Department Advises Increased Awareness of Hepatitis A
There has been a recent increase in reported cases of Hepatitis A virus (HAV) throughout Illinois and in Lake County. Since January 2018, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed 110 cases of HAV and has identified 35 cases to be part of a statewide outbreak. Learn more about HAV and steps you can take to prevent it.


Check Your Home for Radon Gas Levels This Winter 
Homeowners are urged to test radon levels in their homes and apartments during the winter months, when indoor radon levels are at their highest.

Radon is an odorless and colorless gas that naturally occurs in rock and soil and can seep into homes from the soil through cracks in the basement floors and foundations, crawl spaces, poorly sealed sump pumps, porous cinder block walls and other foundation floor and wall penetrations. Watch this video to learn ways to protect your home.

New Recycling Gudelines

New Recycling Guidelines
The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County and other agencies and communities around the state have released a new set of guidelines for recycling.  Since then, discussions with local recycling facilities have led to a few new updates.  Please find the “recycling reboot,” the latest Lake County Recycling Guidelines. Take a special look at the NO list as these items can negatively impact recycling efforts in many ways.  It’s estimated that as many as one in four items placed in a recycling cart is not accepted for recycling. 

Make sure you are getting all the right things in and keeping all the wrong things out.  You can find alternative recycling and reuse opportunities available in your community at, along with more detailed information and frequently asked questions about recycling. 

Electronics icon

Electronics Recycling
Make sure you don't throw away your old electronics! Items such as TVs, computers, video game consoles, tablets, and printers are prohibited by State law from being disposed of in the trash. Lake County residents can bring their unwanted electronics to one of four year-round drop-off locations.

healthy hedges

Healthy Hedges
The Lake County Forest Preserves has partnered with other organizations to create a resource for homeowners who want to know what to plant following buckthorn removal. European buckthorn is an invasive species that is detrimental to native flora and fauna, and now unfortunately makes up about 40 percent of our canopy in the Chicago area. Learn about recommended species that can be planted in its place to maintain privacy screens and shady areas. Here is an example of a backyard landscape following buckthorn removal and the addition of native plants. 

LCFPD history

View the History of Your Forest Preserves
This time-lapse map depicts the Forest Preserves’ land acquisitions from our inception in 1958 to the present. In addition to seeing land acquisitions appear on the map year by year, the interactive map allows you to zoom into a specific area or preserve to watch its development over time. Zoom in close to see landscape, roads and improvements. This is just one of the tools available on the our Featured Maps site, which also includes useful information such as trail and underpass closures, the status of Independence Grove activities, controlled burn notifications, and the Interactive Trail Map, on which trail users can find their real-time location on a trail from their portable device. View time-lapse map »

Learn about the history of your forest preserves »

Transitional Care of Lake County groundbreaking

Breaking Ground on Transitional Care of Lake County Facility in Mundelein
I joined officials as we broke ground on the new state-of-the-art Transitional Care of Lake County facility, formerly known as Winchester House. For more than 150 years, Winchester House has served the vulnerable elderly and disabled people of Lake County.

Located on Route 45 near the corner of Route 83 in Mundelein, the new facility will be operated by Transitional Care Management, which will continue the tradition of providing compassionate, high quality healthcare for Lake County residents. Watch this video to learn more.


Lake County Transportation Alliance Meets
State, regional and local officials recently gathered to discuss Lake County transportation needs at the Lake County Transportation Alliance (LCTA) annual meeting. A major focus of discussion was improving the quality of life in Lake County through a multi-modal transportation network that provides mobility and economic opportunity for all. Watch this video to learn more.

New Satellite Office for Congressman Schneider
Congressman Brad Schneider (Dist. 10) has opened a new satellite office at Waukegan City Hall. The Waukegan Office will be open on Tuesdays, 12pm - 5pm and Wednesdays, 8am - 5pm.


PASSAGE camera image snow season

Winter Weather Travel/Safety
While we’re hopefully more than halfway through another winter, February has proven to be one of the rougher winter months. There are things you can do to keep yourself safe this winter.

State's Attorney's Office service dogs

Meet Mitch, Hitch and Browser!
Meet Mitch, Hitch, and Browser, the amazing Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office four-legged staff members. Mitch provides comfort to child victims. Hitch is assigned to the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit's Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring Program, which includes specialty courts such as Mental Health Court, Drug Court and Veterans Court. And Browser is trained to sniff out electronic devices for criminal investigations.
Watch this video and learn about the incredible work these dogs are doing!


Apply for, Renew Passport at Mobile Passport Events
Starting to make your travel plans this year? Make sure getting or renewing your passport is part of your plans! Apply for or renew your passport at one of the several Mobile Passport Events the Lake County Circuit Clerk’s Office will host this year. View the full schedule.

Passport applications also are processed from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Circuit Clerk's Office in Waukegan. View application requirements, including fee information.

Winter fun

Winter Festivals in Lake County
From exploring a winter wonderland to playdates with cold-blooded creatures to escaping reality in snowy murals, Lake County is the place to indulge in frosty festivities. Check Visit Lake County’s guide to winter festivals to warm yourself up.

Winter 2018 Horizons

Winter Horizons Magazine Available Online
The winter issue of our Horizons magazine is now available online. Horizons is the quarterly publication of your Lake County Forest Preserves, featuring articles on wildlife, nature and history, news, and a calendar of programs and events. You can also subscribe to receive our free magazine in print form. Read it today »

LCFPD native artists Dunn Museum

Museum’s Collections Significant to Native Artists
Last summer, the Dunn Museum’s collections staff welcomed traditional Native artists and researchers, Pat Kruse, of the Red Cliff Band of Superior Chippewa Indians (descendent of Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe), and Terri Hom, of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians (Ojibwe). Kruse was one of eight accomplished artists awarded the 2018 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) Mentor Artist Fellowship. Kruse began a yearlong mentorship with apprentice, Terri Hom, to create birch bark quill art. Kruse and Hom researched the Dunn Museum’s Native American collection with special focus on 19th and early 20th century artifacts with cultural ties to their heritage and use of beadwork, quillwork and birch bark. Learn more about the Dunn Museum and its collections »


Lake County Forest Preserve Ranger Earns Honor
Paul Hettich, a Lake County Forest Preserve ranger police officer, was recently honored for his military accomplishments. Hettich, a part-time ranger for 30 years, was selected as an Illinois Bicentennial Honor 200 Veterans recipient. Hettich, an Army Reserve Officer, retired as a Colonel in the fall of 2017 after serving 30 years. Learn more >>

Streambank stabilization

Streambank Stabilization Techniques
Interesting! By putting riffles, which are comprised of large rock, into streams, the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission is able to mitigate streambed and streambank erosion and enhance the natural drainage system in Lake County. Watch this video to learn more.

LCFPD ComED STEM partner

Thank You to ComEd, 2018 STEM Education Partner!
Thank you to ComEd, our 2018 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education Partner! ComEd’s $20,000 grant allowed the Forest Preserves to hire an additional staff member in our education department – the ComEd Science Instructor – to expand our capacity to serve Lake County youth in 2018. Learn more >>

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