ParkTalk Podcast
ParkTalk Blog
  • 630-848-5000
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Participation Guidelines. More information regarding the District’s response can be found here

How to Boost Your Health: Don’s Story

Sometimes the fitness boost that you need is just around the corner. As Don discovered,  the road to better health can be as simple as finding a new, friendly place in which to work out. 


Don Shields is one of the fitness members at Fort Hill Activity Center, known by the front desk staff for his ready smile and his frequent workouts at the fitness center.

He took time to talk with me because he wants others to know about Fort Hill Activity Center and how it has helped him reach a new level of fitness and wellness.

“I’ve been to a lot of gyms, but this is so outstanding,” said Don. “Fort Hill Activity Center is a big tool to boost your health.”

Discovering Fort Hill Activity Center

Looking for a better place to work out,  Don often drove by Fort Hill Activity Center as it was being constructed. A relatively new Naperville resident, Don had moved from out of state to be closer to family.


By the time Fort Hill Activity Center opened in late August 2016, Don was ready to begin a new workout and his mother, Virginia, was excited about using the indoor walking track. They walked through the doors on opening day, August 22 and were delighted with everything. “The first day we were here I saw how much detailed preparation went into the building,” said Don. “It was turnkey, the staff was well trained, and there were no glitches. I was just so impressed – even the first day.  They answered all of my questions. Wow!”

The Results

In the 2+ months since Don started working out at Fort Hill Activity Center, he has been able to double the length of his workouts, which has led to increased energy, strength and a gradual but steady weight loss.  Virginia also has gained strength and stamina through walking the track and using the fitness equipment, and looks forward to continuing her activities during the winter months.


“I’ve been an athlete all my life,” said Don. “I’m glad to be able to step up my workout to really see results.  It takes time, but I’m working on it.  Since I started working out at Fort Hill, I feel energized and relaxed.”  

Keys to Success at Fort Hill

1.  A friendly, community atmosphere with knowledgeable staff.  Sometimes it’s the intangible things that motivate us the most. Don explained that he always looks forward to coming in for his workouts. “It’s a very relaxed, friendly environment. People let me work out without interrupting me. The trainers are there to help when I ask, and they give excellent training on the machines.”


Personal trainers Carl and Beth are part of the staff at Fort Hill

2. Bringing the outdoors in.  “You feel like you’re walking outside when you’re on the indoor track,” said Don. “The location of the building is perfect, on a corner lot with lots of trees that you can see through the large windows in many areas of the building.”

3. State-of-the-art equipment. “The resistance training and cardio machines are excellent and the length of the track is perfect,” said Don. “I work out on the sit-down Life Fitness bike, the walking track, and use free weights. The staff put rules in place for the track to avoid conflict, for example, signs designate the direction and lanes for running and walking.  The staff thought of everything before it opened; they had it in place right from the start.”

Get a healthy head start on your fitness journey this holiday season.

Here are some ideas for learning more about how you can improve your health and fitness at Fort Hill Activity Center:

Now through Dec. 23, you can explore all that Fort Hill has to offer by purchasing a 5-visit guest pass for only $25.  Try the cardio and resistance machines, the group exercise classes, the indoor track or the open gym times.  

Additionally, look for new winter recreation programs offered at Fort Hill Activity Center in the Naperville Park District’s Program Guide, delivered to residents homes and available online at

Stop by for a free tour of the facility and learn more about the variety of memberships available. Our friendly staff looks forward to greeting you. 

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
Please consider making a donation of any amount to our Fee Assistance Program.
Your contribution will help Naperville residents in need enjoy the benefits of recreation programs.

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.
© 2021 Naperville Park District