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Naperville Park District to Conduct Seasonal Controlled Burns

In late March 2019 Naperville Park District crews will be conducting prescribed ground-level burns in various areas throughout the city in an effort to improve the habitat for native plants.

“Controlled burns mimic nature’s way of keeping weeds under control so that native vegetation can thrive in the natural areas of our parks,” explained Kevin Finnegan, director of parks.

Timing of the burns depends on ground temperature after the snow melts. “There’s actually a small window of time during which we can complete spring burns,” added Finnegan.  “The ground needs to be sufficiently warm, but the grass must remain dormant for the burn to be successful.”

Additionally, weather conditions and wind velocity and direction permit only a few sites to be burned each year, during either the spring or fall burn seasons.  Trained crews supervise this process, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Naperville Fire Department issues an annual permit to the park district for this activity.

Weather conditions permitting, staff will conduct controlled burns at the following parks:

Arrowhead Park, 711 Iroquois Avenue

Baileywood Park, 1588 Oxford Lane

Brighton Ridge Park, 775 Torrington Road

Carol Acres, 787 Fort Hill Drive

Century Farms Park, 715 Sigmund Road

Commissioners Park, 3704 111th Street

Country Lakes Park, 1835 N. Aurora Road

Dorothea Weigand Riverfront Park, 2436 S. Washington Street

DuPage River Park, 808 Royce Road

Frontier Sports Complex, 3380 Cedar Glade Drive

Hobson West Ponds, 1047 S. West Street

Kingsley Prairie, 160 Ring Road

Knoch Knolls Park, 336 Knoch Knolls Road

May Watts Park, 804 S. Whispering Hills Drive

Meadow Glens, 1303 Muirhead Avenue

Nike Sports Complex, 1520 N. Mill Street

Pioneer Park, 1212 S. Washington Street

Rock Ridge Park, 1316 Green Trails Drive

Seager Park, 1163 Plank Road

Sindt Woods, Riverwalk Park, 500 W. Jackson Avenue

Sportsman’s Park, 735 S. West Street

Westglen Commons, 467 Westglen Drive

Wildflower Park, 2122 Aurora Avenue

Wil-O-Way Commons, 1701 W. Jefferson Avenue

Winding Creek Park, 144 W. Bailey Road


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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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