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Naperville Park District Receives 2017 Illinois Sustainability Award

On Tuesday, October 24 at a ceremony at the Union League Club in Chicago, the Naperville Park District was honored by receiving the 2017 Illinois Sustainability Award in recognition of the District’s leadership in environmental practices. The District is among 22 Illinois businesses and organizations that received the award.

As stated in its Nov. 24 press release, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) presented the 31st annual Illinois Sustainability Awards to recognize “significant achievements toward keeping the state’s economy green and going strong.”

“This award confirms the value of our ongoing efforts to conserve energy and natural resources, while saving taxpayer dollars at the same time,” said Naperville Park District Executive Director Ray McGury.

Guided by an environmental policy and core values which emphasize stewardship and environmental education, the Park District continues to move forward with green initiatives.  The District’s major accomplishments in sustainability since its first Illinois Sustainability Award in 2012 include construction and opening of LEED Platinum Knoch Knolls Nature Center; installation of solar panels that generate more than 77,000 kWh of renewable energy annually; and energy efficient lighting that saves more than 1.6 million kWh of electricity annually. Additionally, with the help of volunteers, grants and partnerships, the District is restoring native shorelines, prairies and woodlands to protect habitat for wildlife and to provide beautiful open space for the community.


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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.
© 2021 Naperville Park District