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A Message from the Executive Director - Autumn 2019

Dear Friend of the Naperville Park District:

Each year the Park District plans a special event at Centennial Beach to celebrate and thank the hundreds of volunteers who have given more than ten hours of service to the Naperville Park District. It’s an opportunity to reflect on all that they do for our community. This season’s infographic, which can be found in the Autumn 2019 Program Guide, highlights some of the ways that volunteers help the Park District in its mission to promote a healthy community, for example, supporting our free community events, youth athletic leagues, senior programs, park maintenance initiatives and family-friendly musical theater.

Virtually since the Park District’s inception more than 50 years ago, community volunteers have contributed time and talent to make Park District programs like Naperville Youth Soccer possible. Beyond the fiscal savings that they provide, the individuals who offer their service to the Park District bring enthusiasm, creativity and dedication to the programs and projects that they support. Two of our volunteers who recently spoke as guests on our ParkTalk Podcast explain from their perspective why they enjoy volunteering and what keeps them excited to continue serving in a volunteer role after more than ten years. These are only two of many who could tell similar stories.

The variety of volunteer opportunities at the Park District continues to expand, offering many ways for residents to get involved, meet new friends, fulfill service requirements for school, or use their talents. Time commitments range from an hour or two for a one-time event or project to several hours per week for the duration of a season. Current volunteer opportunities are posted at, along with the District’s volunteer handbook, an application, and contact information for our volunteer manager. Familiar events including Halloween Happening and Santa House need volunteers and newer events such as the Pumpkin Smash also thrive on volunteer support.

Groups comprised of neighbors, employees from local businesses, families, school service clubs, churches and others are welcome to plan a one-time volunteer project, for example, litter picking, mulching, painting and weeding. If a group wants to care for a specific area over a longer period of time they can adopt a park, playground, field, or trail. Scouts also can complete their Eagle or Gold awards by proposing and executing projects that enhance our parks. The first step in planning a special project is to contact our volunteer manager.

If you have a talent, skill or interest that you would like to share as a volunteer to help the Park District in its mission to promote a healthy community, we want to hear about it. Some of our most unique programs are made possible by volunteers; for example, the senior drop-in wood carving group is led by Shelly Weiser, a gifted artist and volunteer.

As we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, I want to thank not only our volunteers but also our community partners, sponsors, donors and granting agencies. Through your collaboration, the Naperville Park District is able to deliver great value to the taxpayers as we provide park and recreation experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.



Ray McGury

Executive Director

Naperville Park District

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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