|A 14-year old’s summer job working on greenhouses sparked a passion in Jesse Felix that later would turn into a long and decorated career in Parks and Recreation. Felix began his career at Cantigny alongside his father, where he worked for 15 years as Assistant Superintendent of Grounds and rose to Garden Curator. After studying Horticulture at College Of Dupage and Management at Aurora University, Felix made a brief stop at the Funny Firm and became the Superintendent of Parks for the West Chicago Park District in 1990.
Jesse worked for the Park District and soon felt at home in the West Chicago Community. His first memory of the Park District was a challenge with a smaller staff and outdated equipment. Felix began a plan to buy used equipment gradually to meet the needs of a growing District while being fiscally responsible. Today, the Park District oversees 11 parks and over 400 acres of open space and some of the equipment that was purchased back then remains in use.
In 2007, the Park District hired its current Executive Director, Gary Major; under his direction the Park District has grown from open green space to a land and facility rich District. This allowed for several new projects for Felix, amongst some of his proudest achievements, the creation of a trail system that connected residents with nature and added to the beautiful landscape of the parks.