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Former General Superintendent Honored by Illinois State Lawmakers

Arnold Randall at the Illinois House of Representatives

Standing before the Illinois House of Representatives last month, former Forest Preserves of Cook County General Superintendent Arnold Randall felt both a sense of honor and wonderment as he listened to Rep. Kam Buckner read through highlights of his 13-year tenure from the recognition resolution Buckner had sponsored.

“I felt an immense sense of pride for the great strides our administration made and wondered where the time had gone,” Randall shared. “It was gratifying to realize that recognition for the work the Forest Preserves has been doing extends beyond leaders in the conservation world.”

But not only were local lawmakers aware of the efforts stewarded by Randall’s administration, they knew—and deeply appreciated—the impact the Forest Preserves has had on Cook County communities.

Appointed to the post in 2010 by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Randall oversaw a dramatic transformation of the conservation agency. The resolution touched on highlights of his tenure: The Forest Preserves has become a more transparent and accountable government agency, with increased commitments to restoring and protecting Cook County’s most precious natural areas, sustainability, and racial equity, diversity and inclusion. Additional advancements have been made in recreation amenities, programming, and more.

“It was very humbling to be recognized in this way,” Randall said.

Randall departed the Forest Preserves in January 2024 and has since assumed the position of executive director of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, an opportunity that enables him to continue supporting land conservation in the Chicago region and beyond.