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Chuck Papanos Named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary Club of Naperville

At an awards luncheon on May 10, the Rotary Club of Naperville named the Naperville Park District’s Park Operations Manager Chuck Papanos a Paul Harris Fellow. Papanos, along with nine others, received the award, which is given to individuals who meet high professional and personal standards set forth by Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary.

Chuck Papanos has been with the Naperville Park District since 2001, starting as a park specialist. Chuck soon began overseeing the Riverwalk as well as North Parks, and has represented the Park District on the Naperville Riverwalk Commission for many years. Chuck’s staff plan and maintain the beautiful floral displays along the Riverwalk, work with community groups to prepare for events such as Last Fling, and manage a variety of parks including Nike Sports Complex, Seager Park and Country Lakes Park.

“When you think about the Naperville Riverwalk, names immediately come to mind if you've been in this community for a while,” said Executive Director Ray McGury. “Rick Hitchcock, Cliff Preston, Jim Moser, Mayor Chet Rybicki and Chuck Papanos.  I've had the honor of working with Chuck since I started at the Naperville Park District in 2008.  In rain, sleet, snow, blazing heat...if you’re looking for Chuck, don't check his office.  He's on the Riverwalk working with his dedicated staff to make sure the Riverwalk remains the crown jewel that it is for our community.  This award is a great gesture by the Rotary Club of Naperville for a great man whom I'm honored to work with.”


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Funds raised through the Naperville Parks Foundation support the Naperville Park District’s Fee Assistance Program. The Naperville Parks Foundation supports the recreation needs and desires of the residents of Naperville – encouraging health and wellness, fitness, family time, and fun. The Foundation supports the mission of making recreation of all kinds accessible to everyone across the community, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

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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