ParkTalk Podcast: WDSRA and Naperville Park District: A Special Partnership

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Episode Description:

Western DuPage Special Recreation Association Inclusion Manager, Maddy Manden, and Naperville Park District Superintendent of Recreation, Jackie Gonzalez, join the podcast to discuss the partnership between WDSRA and Naperville Park District and the agencies' efforts to provide recreational programs to the community and create an inclusive society.

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Quotes from the Episode:

The importance of the inclusivity between in our community:

What I feel is the greatest benefit of an inclusive recreation program is raising an inclusive generation. Naperville Park District fosters a sense of acceptance and understanding where individuals of all abilities are celebrated. - Maddy

The key benefits of the partnership from both organizations:

A great benefit is offering the opportunity for people with special needs that live in Naperville to participate in programs in the town where they live, whether it be in the Park District programs or programs done through WDSRA. - Jackie

The WDSRA inclusion team is a great resource to the Naperville Park District in ADA or training according to programs and how to best help the program be successful. - Maddy

Some challenges Naperville Park District and WDSRA face during summertime programs:

Summer camp is definitely very popular. Naperville Park District offers a variety of awesome camps. Last summer, there were 317 registrations for camps alone. We love all of the registrations, but along comes the biggest challenge of staffing. Finding enough staff to fulfill all the requests for support is one of our biggest challenges. - Maddy

Last year, we had almost 1,000 participation registrations in our programs throughout the year. The biggest challenge is trying to make sure we've gotten all the information for the participants who need the support and making sure it's getting communicated to WDSRA, and making sure they have the staff to fulfill those needs in a timely manner. - Jackie