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A Message from the Executive Director - Autumn 2020

Dear Friends of the Naperville Park District:

One of the most fun and rewarding events hosted by the Naperville Park District is the annual volunteer appreciation picnic at Centennial Beach. Volunteers are invited to bring their families to enjoy a picnic and swim and Park District staff and board members have the opportunity to meet them and thank them in person. Although we are unable to host this event in 2020, I want to say a special “thank you” to everyone who has given their time, talent and energy to help the Park District. We truly appreciate all that you do for the community.

Each volunteer makes a difference wherever they serve, whether on the soccer field coaching youth participants or pulling weeds in a flower bed. And the combined impact of volunteers is tremendous. On average, 2,700 individuals give more than 81,000 hours of service annually, which is valued at more than $2 million.

Popular programs like Naperville Youth Soccer rely on parent volunteers who serve as coaches and assistants. Many of our coaches return year after year, learning as they go, enjoying time with their child and the team, and seeing the growth of players over time. Coaches play an important role in modeling good sportsmanship, which has always been an essential goal of our youth sports leagues.

Part of our mission to promote a healthy community is to provide free special events, where people of all ages can enjoy music, entertainment or activities in a family-friendly environment. We are grateful to our corporate partners who sponsor these events and to our volunteers, who help the events run smoothly. In a typical year, events like Halloween Happening and Santa House each enlist more than 100 volunteers, including many middle school and high school students.

Volunteers help keep parks beautiful by picking up litter, weeding, planting, and mulching. Over the years, scouts have contributed hundreds of hours completing Eagle and Gold projects to add benches, preschool equipment and interpretive signs to our parks. In addition, families or groups adopt parks or areas within parks and work with our parks staff to help maintain the areas over the course of several years.

The Park District’s dance and theater programs also rely on volunteers to help behind the scenes on performance days. Magical Starlight Theatre productions involve volunteers throughout the season in a variety of roles including costumes, sets, acting, choreography and more. Volunteers also lead some of the senior drop-in art programs, such as wood carving and painting, sharing their passion and skill with others who want to learn and enjoy the company of people with similar interests.

Last but not least, our park commissioners lead the way in giving of their time, as they all serve on the park board as volunteers. This involves preparing for meetings, listening to residents’ concerns, staying informed about community issues and advocating for parks and recreation and all of its benefits.

Naperville has a tradition of giving back, and I’m proud that our Park District volunteers contribute so much to our community in the spirit of helping others.

Interested in volunteering with us? Visit to see the current volunteer opportunities. We are grateful to Lynnette Hoole, our volunteer manager, who oversees our volunteer program and is always ready to plan something new and inspire volunteers to do their part to enhance the Park District and our community.

Be well,

Ray McGury
Executive Director

Naperville Park District

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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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