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Naperville Park District Receives Partnership Award from the Forest Preserve District of Will County

On May 11, 2017, the Forest Preserve District of Will County presented the “Appreciation of Partners” award to Naperville Park District for its support of the construction of Segment 5 of the DuPage River Trail through Knoch Knolls Park.

Naperville Park District Board Vice President Mike Reilly and Executive Director Ray McGury attended the 9:30 a.m. meeting of the Forest Preserve’s Board of Commissioners in Joliet to receive the award.

“From the Naperville Park District’s perspective, this partnership is an example of good government, of combining resources to provide one of the most desired recreational amenities—trails—for the community,” said McGury.

The $2.1 million project extended the asphalt path southwest from Knoch Knolls Park to the 95th Street bridge over the DuPage River. The new trail connects several forest preserves, parks and greenways across Naperville, Bolingbrook and Plainfield.

“Our past cooperation with the Naperville Park District dates back decades and has been one of the most successful partnerships the Forest Preserve has maintained,” said Forest Preserve Chief Operating Officer Ralph Schultz. “Over the years we’ve worked together to protect land along the DuPage River and build segments of the DuPage River Greenway Trail and Tallgrass Greenway Trail linking our open spaces and facilities and connecting people with recreation in a fun and healthy way.“

The trail extension is part of a planned 40-mile DuPage River Trail system that is supported by 12 agencies in two counties, Will and DuPage.

Eighty percent of the project’s funding came from a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The Forest Preserve District and the Park District contributed 20 percent to the cost as well as land for the project.

The project was completed in late fall 2016 and is now open for pedestrians, bicyclists and runners to enjoy.  A map of the DuPage River Trail and other area trails can be found at



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Looking for an opportunity to have a positive impact on people’s lives while building a fun and dynamic career? Consider the Naperville Park District! It takes all kinds of skills, knowledge and talent to serve the recreation needs of the Naperville community. If you’re passionate about the outdoors, staying active, having fun and encouraging others to do the same, then check out our part-time and full-time career opportunities.


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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