LIBERTYVILLE — Nan Buckardt, director of education for Lake County Forest Preserves, was recognized for her leadership in natural resources.
The Illinois Conservation Foundation Board of Directors inducted Buckardt into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame.
Since 2002, the ICF has recognized Illinois residents for their significant contributions to the preservation, enhancement, enhancement, or support of natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities with induction into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame.
The launch is a testament to Buckardt’s passion for outdoor recreation and conservation, said Colleen Callahan, chair of the ICF Board of Directors and director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Callahan said Buckardt “inspired a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts in Illinois.”
“I am very honored to receive this prestigious honor,” said Buckardt, who has dedicated more than 30 years of her career to inspiring people to conserve and protect nature. “This honor is the result of my passion to share Forest Preserves’ commitment to the preservation of a dynamic system of natural and cultural resources.”
“Nan is recognized throughout the county and state as a conservation advocate and leader,” said Alex Ty Kovach, executive director of Lake County Forest Preserves, in his nomination letter. “She played a key role in the founding of Chicago Wilderness, a regional alliance strategy that connects leaders in conservation, health, business, science and beyond to conserve, enhance and augment nature and the quality of life. Nan is a prime example of the dedicated staff who keep their scenic forest preserves running on a daily basis. We’ve been providing conservation and access to Lake County’s protected forests for more than six decades. The staff do a remarkable job and take great pride in what they do.”
Buckardt played an active role in founding the Lake County Nature Network, a collaborative effort to better connect Lake County’s Hispanic and African American communities with nature-based learning, science, recreation, and stewardship activities.
“Throughout her career, Nan has made a difference with the thousands of students she has taught and with the programs she has developed, and she has dedicated herself to improving conservation efforts by educating future keepers of the open spaces,” said Kovach. “Nan’s commitment to education and the environment will have a lasting impact on her community. She has dedicated her life to educating children about the importance of nature, focusing on inspiring children and leaving a lasting impression on them to become future conservationists.”