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Naperville Park District’s Brad Wilson Receives Community Impact Award

On January 24, 2020, Director of Recreation and Facilities Brad Wilson received the 2019 Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) Community Impact Award at the annual state park and recreation conference in Chicago. This statewide award recognizes his leadership and positive impact on the community and is given to only one park and recreation professional each year.

“Although the announcement on Friday was a surprise to Brad, It was not at all surprising to me that he was honored by our prestigious state park and recreation organizations,” said Executive Director Ray McGury. “I’ve had a front row seat watching Brad’s leadership and community impact grow over my past 11 years with the Park District. Brad is a great example of a professional leader who enjoys working with others for the greater good.”

Brad Wilson joined the Park District in 1998 as an intern from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Upon completion of his internship he remained with the District as a program manager where he focused primarily on managing youth athletic programs. Brad was promoted to superintendent of facilities and athletics in 2003 and currently directs the entire recreation department, including both programming and facilities.

Previously honored by the Naperville Jaycees and the Rotary Club of Naperville for his community service, Brad has worked with individuals and organizations to make recreation more accessible to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. He has helped create or strengthen partnerships between the Naperville Park District and a variety of organizations, including KidsMatter, Ride Assist Naperville, Naperville’s two school districts, the Healing Field of Honor, the Xilin Association, and others. The benefits for the community range from combatting youth stress, to increasing seniors’ mobility, to providing shared athletic fields and the community’s first recreation center.

Photo caption: 

IPRA Executive Director Debbie Trueblood, IPRA Chair Jeff Fougerousse and Brad Wilson, at the 2020 Soaring to New Heights Conference awards ceremony, Chicago, 1-24-20


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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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