ParkTalk Podcast
ParkTalk Blog
  • 630-848-5000
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Participation Guidelines. More information regarding the District’s response can be found here

Knoch Knolls Nature Center Announces New Resources for Teachers

Connecting students to nature through field trips, classroom visits, eco-clubs and more

Naperville Park District’s Knoch Knolls Nature Center now has new information available for teachers interested in connecting students to nature. Details about classroom visits, field trips, self-guided visits and teacher training and grant opportunities are accessible online at  

“Each year since the Nature Center opened in 2014, our naturalists have added new programs and new ways to share their knowledge with teachers and students at all grade levels,” explained Nature Center Manager Angelique Harshman. “We now have on our website a list of resources for teachers that will help them plan activities such as a field trip to the Nature Center, an eco-club activity, or planting a school garden.”

Classroom visits from a Knoch Knolls Nature Center naturalist are available for preschool classrooms from December through March. These visits include a 45-minute presentation and feature a live animal. Naturalists also make visits to school career day events and eco-club meetings at the elementary, middle school or high school level. Details are listed at  

Field trips to Knoch Knolls Nature Center are led by naturalists and are available for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade classes in April and May and in September, October and November. These programs incorporate Next Generation Science and Common Core standards. Field trip request forms and details about activities included at each grade level are found at

Free activities and suggestions for self-guided visits are listed at  with details about scavenger hunts, trails, picnic areas and more.

An extensive list of classroom teaching materials, instructions for classroom gardening, grant opportunities, teacher training, and other environmental organizations and resources is included at

Connect your business’s brand with a well-known and respected one like
the Naperville
Park District’s and reach a large, active and diverse audience.

To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities
contact Stacey Fontechia Sales and Sponsorship Manager at 630-848-3575 or at
Please consider making a donation of any amount to our Fee Assistance Program.
Your contribution will help Naperville residents in need enjoy the benefits of recreation programs.

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.
© 2021 Naperville Park District