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Naperville Park District Awarded Grant for Safety Device Invented by Staff

Naperville Park District staff is encouraged to look for ways to improve safety both for staff operations and for the public visiting parks and facilities. Competing for small grants through the District’s safety committee, staff submits ideas for safety improvements each year. In summer 2018, Trevor Stibbe, John Teper and Ben Palczynski submitted their design and demonstration of a dust shield for the District’s ballfield raking equipment and won not only an $800 Park District grant but also received one of the grants awarded statewide from the Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA) in the amount of $1,500.

Park District staff members ride a ball rake—a baseball field tractor that pulls a rake behind it—to comb the infields of more than 30 baseball fields each year. During dry summer conditions the raking kicks up dust that can be inhaled, irritate the eyes, and settle on clothing, even though staff wears personal protective equipment. Stibbe, Teper and Palczynski designed and tested a plastic dust shield that attaches to the back of the ball rake and redirects a majority of the dust from reaching the employee driving the vehicle. The Park District has applied for a U.S. provisional patent for the dust shield.

“I would like to congratulate Trevor, John and Ben on the hard work they put into this project,” said Safety Manager Becky Cooper. “With these grant funds from PDRMA we will now be able to implement the dust shields on all of our baseball field tractors. Their innovative idea will make our workplace safer and healthier.”

“The Naperville Park District has a culture of creativity and innovation, allowing employees to do what they do best, which is to provide great service to our taxpayers while always looking for ways to be more efficient and fiscally responsible,” said Executive Director Ray McGury. “Trevor, John and Ben are great examples of the outstanding work and dedication our Park District staff provides day in and day out.”


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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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