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Naperville Park District Receives the Pat Miller Community Engagement Award from the DuPage Monarch Project

On January 19 Naperville Park District was one of two agencies to be recognized by the DuPage Monarch Project for its commitment to protect the monarch butterfly. Naperville Park District received the Pat Miller Community Engagement Award for its educational outreach and for involving residents in planning and planting monarch habitat. Fox Valley Park District received the Jane Foulser Habitat Award for its work to expand pollinator habitat. This is the first year that the DuPage Monarch Project has presented these awards. A video of the award presentation can be viewed here.

DuPage Monarch Project is a volunteer-led organization with the goal of increasing public awareness of the plight of pollinators and advocating for increasing the amount of healthy habitat available for them. In 2016, Naperville Park District and Fox Valley Park District were among many public agencies that became signatories of the DuPage Monarch Project, meaning that they signed resolutions to preserve and promote monarch habitat. Since that time, Naperville Park District has added 5 monarch waystations, hosted a Monarch Festival, raised and released 175 monarch butterflies at Knoch Knolls Nature Center and has added more than 10 acres of pollinator habitat in parks across the community.

“Naperville Park District is honored to be recognized with the Pat Miller Community Engagement Award,” said Nature Center Manager Angelique Harshman. “We thank the volunteers who have helped plant pollinator plants and the many residents who have shown interest in protecting and preserving monarchs.”

One of the District’s core values is environmental stewardship, sustainability and environmental education. Updates and information about the District’s environmental initiatives can be found at


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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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