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

Winter Nature Activities Offered through Knoch Knolls Nature Center

Knoch Knolls Nature Center at Naperville Park District is closed this month, but is offering several fun, take-home, outdoor and virtual activities during the months of January, February and March, including Nature Discovery Kits, Virtual Nature Bingo, Virtual Nature Storytime, Hike with a Naturalist, a Woodcock Walk and a Scout weather merit badge. Additionally, residents are encouraged to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count February 12-15.

Nature Discovery Kits provide nature-themed crafts, activities and materials for families to purchase and use at home. The January Nature Discovery Kit, “Foxes are Cool,” guides families through fun activities to learn more about the red and gray foxes that live in our area and are active throughout the winter months. The kits are available for purchase and may be picked up at Knoch Knolls Nature Center on Saturday, January 23 or 30. The February Kit features Valentine crafts and is available for pickup on January 23, January 30, February 6 and February 13. The March Kit includes crafts and activities to celebrate the first day of spring on March 20 and will be available for pickup March 6, 13, 20 and 27. Visit for details and to purchase a Nature Discovery Kit.

Families can enjoy time together playing Bingo and learning about nature from 6:00-6:45 on several Thursday evenings this winter. Led by a naturalist, Virtual Nature Bingo will spotlight different nature themes each evening. “Scaly Creatures” on January 28 will celebrate Rattlesnake Appreciation Day, with pictures and stories about Illinois snakes, turtles and fish. “All About Birds” on February 4 will highlight local birds, just in time for the Great Backyard Bird Count, a national initiative that anyone can join February 12-15. The third Virtual Nature Bingo night for winter is “Baby Animals” on February 11. Additionally, tune in for three Virtual Nature Storytime programs scheduled from 3:30-4:00 p.m., where a naturalist will read a nature story, show one of the live animals at the Nature Center, and provide a fun activity to do at home. Topics include Hibernation Station on February 22, Fabulous Fish on March 8 and Terrific Turtles March 15. Learn more and register for the virtual programs at

Several free Hikes with a Naturalist are planned, giving residents an opportunity to get outdoors in nature and learn about local wildlife. A family hike takes place Saturday, February 6 from 10:00-11:30 a.m., an adult hike is planned for Saturday, February 20 from 10:00-11:30 a.m., and a Woodcock Walk for adults is scheduled for Saturday, March 20 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The Woodcock Walk will begin with a brief presentation about this short-legged, plump bird, and then participants will go outside to look and listen for "dancing" male woodcocks. Nature hikes are free, but registration is required at

Finally, Scouts are invited to earn the Weather Merit Badge by participating in a program led by a certified merit badge counselor from 10:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 6. Learn more and register at


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

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