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Earthweek Naperville 2018 Inspires Volunteers and Audiences in Naperville

From planting saplings to participating in a town hall discussion on climnate change, Naperville area residents of all ages helped make the third annual Earth Week Naperville a success. 

On Saturday, April 21, 2018 two groups of volunteers planted saplings, shrubs and plants at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots while a third group painted recycling cans for our parks.

Youth volunteers painted these recycling bins

Rotary volunteers at the Garden Plots
A group from Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise planted saplings that the Park District hopes will serve as a tree nursery for the District at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots.
DHL volunteers at the Garden Plots

Volunteers from DHL assisted with the saplings and helped plant fruit trees and shrubs in a newly planted island in the Garden Plots parking lot.

On Sunday, April 22, the first-ever Earth Day Fair welcomed approximately 800 visitors at Fort Hill Activity Center. Nonprofit organizations, local governments and earth-friendly vendors provided information and giveaways.

Visitors talk with eco-friendly vendors and groups at the Earth Day Fair

On Monday, April 23 a scout troop headed out to May Watts Park to pick up litter.

Scout volunteers at May Watts Park

On Thursday, April 26, 2018 volunteers from The Resiliency Institute and a scout troop planted a fruit tree guild at the Garden Plots.
Volunteers plant an Asian pear tree and 48 perennial plants at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots
Resiliency Institute Executive Director Jodi Trendler explained that a fruit tree guild is a perennial, edible, sustainable garden designed around a fruit tree. The 12-foot triangular guild at the Garden Plots will serve as a demonstration garden for the community, and to inspire homeowners to plant something similar in a sunny corner of their yard. The guild at the Garden Plots includes yarrow, asparagus, chives, wild blue indigo, raspberry, daffodils, sorrel, coneflower, brazelberry, honeyberry, purple passion, New Jersey tea, strawberries and bee balm—all centered around an Asian pear tree, and all designed to become self-sustaining after a year of maintenance. Read more in the April 27, 2018 article in the Daily Herald.
Jodi Trendler explains the benefits and details of a fruit tree guild

On Saturday, April 28, the Resiliency Institute planted another fruit tree guild at the Naperville Municipal Center. Additionally, the City of Naperville held its annual Arbor Day Tree Sale at the Public Works Service Center.

Capping the week was an interactive panel discussion with an audience of 380 people on “Climate Science and Tomorrow’s Forecast,” featuring WGN Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling, Accenture’s Global Environment Director Mike Nicholus and University of Illinois Professor Don Wuebbles.

Top row: Panelists Tom Skilling, Don Wuebbles and Mike Nicholus; Lynnette Hoole – Naperville Park District. Bottom row: Donna DeFalco-City of Naperville, Jay Johnson - Forest Preserve District of DuPage County,  Amy Emery – City of Naperville, Angelique Harshman – Naperville Park District, Becky  Bekkali – Naperville Convention and Visitors Bureau

5 ways to learn more or get involved in environmental stewardship in 2018.
1. Volunteer through the Naperville Park District, Forest Preserve District of DuPage or Will County, The Conservation Foundation, or others. Earth Week Naperville is just the beginning of a season of volunteer opportunities.
The 2018 Earth Week volunteer t-shirt
2. Register your children for a nature-themed summer camp or other outdoor summer program.
3. Mark your calendar for the inaugural Rx for Nature Festival at Knoch Knolls Nature Center on Sunday, August 12 from 12:00-4:00 p.m. Spend an afternoon exploring fun, outdoor activities that also improve your health.
4. Register your child for Toadstools and Pollywogs nature preschool. A few spots remain for the 2018-19 year.
5. Listen to the Park District’s new ParkTalk podcast series celebrating Earth Week 2018. Get tips on composting at home, planting native plants to support bees and other pollinators, testing and enriching your soil, and hear about a study of natural vs. artificial fertilizers by a group of middle school students who are national finalists for their research.

Connect your business’s brand with a well-known and respected one like the Naperville Park District’s and reach a large, active and diverse audience.

To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities contact
Stacey Fontechia Sales and Sponsorship Manager at 630-848-3575 or at

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.
© 2019 Naperville Park District