Marsha Murphy: 2022 candidate for DuPage County Forest Preserve Board District District 1
Office sought: DuPage Forest Preserve Commission
Age: Not given
Previous offices held: DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioner since 2002; and former Addison Township Trustee
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?
A: I am motivated because I love what I can accomplish for the residents of DuPage County. Not only does the forest preserve district have open space to enjoy, we have boating, fishing, archery, camping plus numerous educational classes residents can attend.
I also want to acquire more land that adjoins current preserves and land that will help flooding in our area. I enjoy giving back to the community and interacting with the residents in my district.
Q: If you are an incumbent, describe your two biggest contributions to the board. If you are a non-incumbent, describe two ways you would contribute to the board.
A: I attended many meetings to make sure there was open space in the new Preserve at Oak. The transformation was a conservation and recreation project that took 1920s design and modernized it for drainage and environmental sensitivity. This project improved water quality within Salt Creek, increased local flood relief by 20 million gallons and enhancement of an environmental refuge for both golfers and wildlife.
Q: What role should the forest preserve play in preserving historic buildings on its land?
A: The Forest Preserve District's core purpose is to connect people to nature. While historic buildings maybe on our land they do not represent our core program. I do believe that we have to continue our fundraising efforts and apple for any grants to ensure historic sites can be protected by the Forest Preserve District for its residents to enjoy.
Q: How would you rate the job the commission is doing to develop existing forest preserves and make them accessible to residents? How would you approach things differently?
A: The Forest Preserve District gathered extensive public input to create an ambitious masterplan that sets priorities for restoring natural areas. The board is currently doing a terrific job of taking action to carry out masterplan projects that improve preserve amenities, trail connections, and parking. Looking ahead the board needs to maintain the momentum by staying committed to implementing the masterplan and continue to listen to residents about opportunities for improvement.
Q: What is the most important issue facing the forest preserves in your district and how should it be addressed?
A: I anticipate that safety will be a big issue in 2023. Our forest preserves are busier than ever. Since the pandemic residents have discovered how much they enjoy visiting one of our preserves. I want to continue to have a strong police presence within our preserves. I believe that having a strong police presence will help deter crime. Our officers are very well trained for the different situations that can occur in the districts preserves. It is extremely important that our residents feel that they have a safe place where they can bring their families to enjoy all we have to offer them.