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A Message from the Executive Director - Spring 2019

Dear Friend of the Naperville Park District:

Following a year of planning and gathering input from our residents, the Park District is ready to begin working on several large projects that will help expand recreation opportunities in our growing community and increase access for residents across Naperville.

Development of the 33-acre Southwest Community Park will begin this summer, with planned completion in summer of 2020. In 2018, the District initiated a public feedback process that consisted of several public meetings, stakeholder workshops and two online surveys to help shape the master plan for this park. Planned amenities include a baseball/softball field, two multi-purpose athletic fields, tennis, basketball, volleyball and pickleball courts, a loop trail, nature areas, a sled hill, a playground, a challenge course and the District’s first splash pad. A $400,000 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant will assist in funding the new park. Information regarding a groundbreaking event will be communicated later this spring via, email and social media.

A second project is the 95th Street Community Plaza. Following initial discussions with Naperville Public Library, the City of Naperville and School District 204, the Park District conducted public outreach in 2018 to gather ideas for the project.  Plans are being developed to transform a 2.2-acre outdoor space located at Frontier Sports Complex and adjacent to the 95th Street Public Library into an engaging community plaza. The project will include the construction of an amphitheater, a playground, restrooms, a splash pad, walkways and shelters. This new community plaza will add trails that connect to businesses along Route 59 and to regional trails that run through several neighborhoods to Southwest Community Park. This project will begin in spring 2019 and continue through spring 2020.

Fort Hill Activity Center is in its third year of operations and already has more than 8,000 members, including fitness, track, open gym and other types of memberships. Group exercise classes have expanded beyond the current studio space into the gymnasium, driving home the realization that additional studio space is needed. Between June and August 2019, the Park District plans to build out 4,000 square feet of studio space on the upper level of the facility to accommodate the popular group exercise classes, while giving back the gymnasium space for other growing programs such as pickleball and basketball leagues.

In addition to these large projects, the Park District will renovate playgrounds in three parks in 2019: Heatherstone Park, Three Meadows Park and Riverwalk Park. Playgrounds in neighborhood parks provide close-to-home outdoor recreation for families and are renovated approximately every 15 years to ensure safety and accessibility. The Jaycees Playground at the Riverwalk serves the entire community and is one of the most loved and visited playgrounds in the District.

Project updates will be posted at and dates for groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies will be announced there, through the media and via our social channels. We look forward to completing these improvements that will provide wonderful and engaging community spaces for enjoying healthy physical activity and making important social connections.

Finally, this spring, the Park District will continue with its green initiatives, including the Sustainable Parks program, in which 8 parks and all playgrounds are maintained only with organic and natural products. And, the District will partner with the City of Naperville and other organizations to coordinate the third annual Earth Week Naperville, April 22-27 and an Earth Day Fair on April 27 at Fort Hill Activity Center. Individuals and groups are encouraged to take part in a volunteer project to beautify parks as part of Earth Week or anytime during the spring season. Visit to learn more.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy spring season!



Ray McGury

Executive Director

Naperville Park District

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On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
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