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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Participation Guidelines. More information regarding the District’s response can be found here

Knoch Knolls Nature Center to Host Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 18

Naperville Park District’s Knoch Knolls Nature Center invites families and individuals to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count and winter birds activities on Presidents’ Day on Monday, Feb. 18 from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Visit the Nature Center, located at 320 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville, to learn more about winter birds and to identify and record the birds you see.

Naturalists will be on hand with binoculars and bird identification books to help guide kids and parents in their observation. No registration is necessary but at least one adult must attend with each family or group of children.

The data will be shared with researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society to learn more about how birds are doing and how to protect them. The official website for the event is located at  In addition to the observations that will be made at Knoch Knolls Nature Center, any resident can join the count in their back yard and enter their results on   or download the eBird mobile app.

Knoch Knolls Nature Center offers other free and low-cost nature activities during the months of February and March for kids, families and adults, including the following:

  • The Feb. 9 Family Nature Nights activity is a Valentine’s Day nature craft workshop, including making heart-shaped bird feeders, nature-based valentines and more. The workshop is from 6:00-7:30 p.m. for ages 3 and up. Register at
  • On Feb. 16, families can drop in between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to learn more about winter birds in Illinois through self-guided activity stations at the Nature Center. No registration is needed.
  • Scouts can earn an Indian Lore Merit Badge on Feb. 23 and a Weather Merit Badge on March 9. Register at
  • On March 2 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. adults 18 and up are invited to take a free hike to learn about local wildlife. The hike is free but registration is required at
  • On March 10 and 24, the Nature Center will host free Nature Discovery Days from 1:00-4:00 p.m. with the theme “animal babies.” These are free, drop-in programs with no registration required.
  • On March 16 from 6:00-7:30 p.m., Family Nature Nights will focus on coyotes, with both indoor activities and a hike. Register at
  • Groups interested in a free tour of the Nature Center may contact Nature Center Manager Angelique Harshman at 630-864-3962 to arrange a time.

Knoch Knolls Nature Center will begin its regular (spring through fall) hours on March 1, which are: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00-5:00 p.m. Winter hours are: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

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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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