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Naperville Park District Board Recognizes Volunteers

Volunteers have contributed time, enthusiasm and talent to the Naperville Park District’s mission since the District’s early years. In a typical year, 2,850 volunteers give 81,000 hours to support Park District programs and projects, which is valued at more than $2 million, according to estimates by Independent Sector.

In 2020, the District was not able to hold its annual volunteer appreciation picnic at Centennial Beach due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, the Park District board and staff wish to show their appreciation of volunteers and have planned to do so in several other ways in the month of September.

At the September 10, 2020 park board meeting, park commissioners approved a resolution recognizing Naperville Park District volunteers as “vital to the success of the Park District and the fulfillment of our mission.” Additionally, the District included an infographic on page 5 of the Autumn Program Guide recognizing and thanking volunteers. Executive Director Ray McGury said in his Autumn 2020 letter, “Naperville has a tradition of giving back, and I’m proud that our Park District volunteers contribute so much to our community in the spirit of helping others.”

Volunteers work behind the scenes to support many different Park District services and resources for the community. Parents coach their children’s youth athletic teams, scouts and corporate groups pull weeds in parks, entire families help Magical Starlight Theatre perform musicals, and hundreds of students help events like Halloween Happening and Santa House to run smoothly.

“Thank you to everyone who has given their time, talent and energy to help the Park District,” said McGury. “We truly appreciate all that you do for the community and look forward to reinstating an annual volunteer appreciation event when restrictions are lifted.”


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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.
© 2020 Naperville Park District