President Joseph Cantore
Elected in 2014 as the Forest Preserve District's President, former commissioner Joseph Cantore is committed to maintaining the Forest Preserve District’s excellent budgetary performance, protecting the county’s natural resources, and providing accessible facilities and amenities for forest preserve patrons.
The Forest Preserve District has a reputation for maintaining a tight balance between operational expenses and revenues. Thanks in part to Cantore's efforts, the District continues to lower the property-tax-levy rate for operations while increasing efficiencies in conservation, education and recreation. With years of experience, Cantore credits the District’s financial practices as serving as a benchmark for other conservation-based agencies.
The sensible use of finances benefits forest preserve development and programming, and Cantore has long been a proponent of improvements at the archery range at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville. In 2008, the Open Space Lands Acquisition Development program awarded a $252,000 grant to partially fund a recreational complex in that part of the forest preserve. The enhanced area now features greater archery opportunities, a trailhead, interpretive signs, a picnic shelter, portable restrooms and additional parking — amenities for all forest preserves patrons, including those with disabilities.
President Cantore believes in the benefits of conservation easements and habitat-restoration efforts, including work at the Bluff Savanna at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien. With its large oaks and hickory trees, the Bluff Savanna is one of the largest continuous woodlands in DuPage. To counter effects of nonnative, aggressive woody plants that have choked out native saplings, the board voted to approve the selective removal of trees and shrubs as necessary and the plantings of native seeds and saplings to help this important habitat.
As chair of the Special Committee for Recreation Activities, Cantore played a significant role in revamping the District’s recreation policy. Incorporating ideas from committee members, he proposed a revised policy, which adopted by the board in 2006, requires that all recreational forest preserve activities be compatible with natural areas and restricted to educational, civic, and cultural purposes and that the board review proposals for any new recreational activities.
Joseph Cantore lives in Oakbrook Terrace and is a small-business owner.
Years of Service
Forest Preserve District President (2014 – Present)
Forest Preserve District Commissioner (2002 – 2014)