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S17 Episode 01: Healthy Shoreline, Healthy River

Project Manager Peggy Motta explains how native plants along the river shoreline prevent erosion and protect water quality, provide habitat for pollinators, discourage Canada geese from nesting along the shoreline, and provide a beautiful place to enjoy.  This episode is part of Series 17: Protecting Our River

For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series visit

Quote from the episode:

“Turf grass has very small roots, only 2-3 inches deep, so if you mow up to the shoreline, it’s unable to help (prevent erosion). Some native plants have roots that are 16-20 feet deep. And they also have a lot of small, fine roots that are able to embed themselves in the soil to hold it.”  Peggy Motta

The project at Lincoln Greenway described in this episode was funded, in part, by a Water Quality Improvement Program Grant from DuPage County Stormwater Management.

Lincoln Greenway is located at 1052 Edgewater Drive in Naperville, along the banks of the West Branch DuPage River, adjacent to Veterans Park. The DuPage River Trail winds through Veterans Park and crosses Gartner Road at the eastern edge of Lincoln Greenway and then proceeds along the river to Pioneer Park and beyond.

Below is a copy of an interpretive sign designed to illustrate and explain the Lincoln Greenway project.

A view of the tall grass prairie restoration at Pioneer Park, part of a multi-year habitat and shoreline restoration project along the West Branch of the DuPage River, just south of Lincoln Greenway.

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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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