Someone to Know: Eric Poggenburg
Ranger Eric Poggenburg can be found in the preserves performing a variety of tasks, from leading a nature hike to working on a prescribed burn. Even when he’s not working, Poggenburg enjoys spending his free time in the preserves riding his bike or dropping a fishing line. He strongly encourages visitors to explore the preserves and take in their beauty. He especially appreciates the serene oasis provided by the preserves amid the hustle and bustle of the busier areas of DuPage County.
What are some of your responsibilities as a Forest Preserve District of DuPage County ranger?
I am responsible for providing the public with a high quality, safe and educational recreational experience. This is achieved through general park maintenance and keeping the parks clean and safe. Programming as well as hosting various special events are other integral aspects of being a ranger.
What has been the best (or most interesting) part of your job at the Forest Preserve District so far?
The variety of tasks I do in any given day is by far the most interesting part of my job. One day I have the opportunity to teach someone to shoot archery or catch a fish for the first time, while the next day I could be out managing our natural areas on a prescribed burn.
What would you like visitors to know about our natural areas and resources?
I strongly encourage visitors to get out and explore our preserves and experience the unique diversity of natural areas we manage in the county. With more than 25,000 acres and more than 60 preserves, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
What is your favorite preserve? Why?
My favorite preserve would have to be Herrick Lake. I live in Wheaton and often ride my bicycle on the paths throughout the preserve. There’s a good mix of shaded woodlands, open prairie and gently rolling savannas to enjoy. I also like the fact that the trails connect with several other neighboring preserves, allowing me to ride a large portion of mostly uninterrupted natural areas.
What question do patrons ask you the most? What is your answer?
Everybody wants me to tell them the best places to catch fish. I usually provide them with a fishing guide highlighting each lake in the county and what they’re stocked with. If I’ve had any recent contact with anglers and had a chance to find out what’s biting, I’ll pass that information along as well.
What is your favorite season in the DuPage Forest Preserves?
My favorite season in the preserves is fall. It’s hard to beat the spectacular color displays Mother Nature provides this time of year.
What inspires you in nature? Why do you like to share that with others?
Nothing beats the peaceful and relaxing escape that nature provides from the hectic and busy urban areas we are mostly surrounded by in DuPage County. I like to share this with others because I feel it’s important for people to connect with nature and develop an appreciation for it in order to continue to provide others with the opportunity to enjoy it down the road.