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Making the most of a warm November day in the parks

The warm breeze and sunshine in mid-November brought people out to the parks, including park maintenance workers who were able to set up the ice hockey rinks and sled hill fencing to be ready for the first signs of winter.

Grading the sand volleyball court area to prepare the ice hockey rinks

Park maintenance staff graded the sand volleyball area near Centennial Beach, smoothing the ground which will become the floor of the Park District’s two ice hockey rinks. Staff then installed the outside walls and the dividing wall between the two rinks. When temperatures fall to below 15 degrees, staff will pump water into the area to form the ice rinks. Temperatures must remain very cold for approximately three days to form solid ice for skating. For a preview of the Naperville Park District’s ice skating and sledding locations, check

Building the ice hockey rinks at Centennial Park

Staff also was able to prepare the sled hill at Rotary Hill, setting the stage for the first snowfall. Rotary Hill is one of the most popular places for sledding in Naperville, and the Park District also has sled hills in several other parks.
The Rotary Hill sledding fence is in place, ready for snow.

At the bottom of the hill, recreation staff worked inside the Riverwalk Café to prepare for Santa’s extended visit in December. The Riverwalk Café will become Santa’s Naperville Workshop, where pre-registered families can enjoy taking a peek at Santa’s world and even talk with Santa using North Pole technology, all while remaining safely outdoors. 
The Riverwalk Café will host Santa’s Naperville Workshop

Meanwhile, park visitors along the Riverwalk took advantage of the warm weather, enjoying activities like Tai Chi, fishing or just taking time to chat with friends.

Practicing Tai Chi near the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion

Fishing on the West Branch DuPage River

A group of friends set up lawn chairs near the Riverwalk to enjoy visiting outdoors

Evergreens along the Riverwalk provide a dash of color in a November landscape and a glimpse of Centennial Beach

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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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