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DuPage County and SCARCE Recognize Naperville Park District for Sustainability

At its April 12 board meeting, the Naperville Park District  received an Ecology Flag , a Water Quality Flag and an Earth Flag in recognition of its environmental sustainability initiatives. DuPage County Board members Janice Anderson and Jim Healy attended the meeting to present a resolution from the County. Kay McKeen, executive director of SCARCE, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainability, presented the flags to the Park District.

The Naperville Park District formed an employee Green Team in 2009 to track and promote its ongoing environmental initiatives. The District was the first park district to earn the Earth Flag from SCARCE in 2010. Since that time, the District has made further progress in sustainability, adding Knoch Knolls Nature Center, remediating and restoring natural areas at Sportsman’s Park, embarking on a 30-year shoreline restoration and maintenance plan, adding solar panels, and many other green initiatives.

The Ecology Flag recognizes large-scale projects that conserve natural resources and protect wildlife. Naperville Park District has conserved energy by installing LED lighting and several arrays of photovoltaic panels that provide renewable energy from the sun. The District is protecting wildlife by enhancing native habitat for pollinators, including adding 5 monarch way stations in 2017. Additionally, the District is increasing its use of organic fertilizers and weed control to benefit the soil and protect pollinators.

The Water Quality Flag recognizes organizations for conserving and purifying stormwater to improve water quality in our streams. Some of the Park District’s water quality initiatives include installing permeable paver parking lots, use of large cisterns to reuse water in operations, a vegetated roof, rain gardens and shoreline restoration.

The 2017 Sustainability Report provides additional information about the Naperville Park District’s environmental initiatives and can be viewed and downloaded at

“We want to thank SCARCE and DuPage County for helping organizations find new ways to conserve our natural resources and to get communities involved,” said Executive Director Ray McGury. “One of our core values as a Park District is environmental stewardship. We appreciate the recognition of the progress we have made and thank you for your support and inspiration.”


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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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