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A Message from the Executive Director - Summer 2019

Dear Friend of the Naperville Park District:

After a long winter and a cold spring, I think we all are looking forward to summer. The Naperville Park District is proud to present the Summer 2019 Program Guide, full of activities and events for all ages and interests to help you make the most of the warm, sunny days ahead. Take a look at this latest edition to help you plan opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, reconnect with friends and neighbors, learn a new skill, or pursue a healthy lifestyle.

In addition to many friendly neighborhood parks located throughout the community, Naperville Park District offers a unique recreation destination just west of downtown, along the Riverwalk, with something for everyone. Our summer infographic, which can be found in the Summer Program Guide, highlights the free and low-cost places to play at this favorite spot, including Centennial Beach, Rotary Hill, the Paddleboat Quarry, and more.

Centennial Beach, Naperville’s historic quarry with a sand beach, opens Memorial Day weekend and offers a variety of affordable season memberships as well as daily admission. Young children can play in the large sand area, splash in the water features and learn to swim in our swim lessons program. Kids can join the Mudrats swim team (for ages 4-18) and new this year, the water polo team (for ages 8-14). The Beach provides a safe place for middle school and high school students to enjoy summer fun, including swimming to the piers, diving, sand volleyball, and socializing. Adults enjoy swimming laps or just cooling off in the water, reading a book, playing cards with friends or spending time with their families. Whether you make it a one-day outing or a regular part of your summer, escaping to Centennial Beach feels like a vacation.

Rotary Hill, overlooking the Millennium Carillon, has become more than just a sled hill. Kids love to run up and down the grassy slope, fly a kite, play tag, and throw a ball. Think of Rotary Hill as the community’s back yard, where families can throw down a picnic blanket, play a game or walk to the top for a view of the Riverwalk. At the top of the hill is the newest addition to the Riverwalk, Harmony Park, where you can play a variety of musical instruments designed for outdoors. The Park District will host several free special events this summer at Rotary Hill, including A Night at the Movies on Friday evenings, June 7, July 12 and August 9; Rock the Hill, featuring the Wayouts on June 21 and OMT on August 2; and the Carillon Summer Recital Series on Tuesday evenings from June 4 through August 20.

The Paddleboat Quarry, at the bottom of Rotary Hill, offers three ways to enjoy getting out on the water: paddleboat rentals for up to four people, kayak rentals for one or two people, and paddleboard rentals. Rentals begin in mid-May, weather permitting. 

Another popular destination along the Riverwalk is the Riverwalk Café, with patio seating overlooking the Paddleboat Quarry and great views of the Riverwalk itself. Stop in for lunch, drinks and appetizers, dinner, or a treat. 

The Riverwalk continues west of Centennial Beach to the Jaycee Playground, one of the most popular playgrounds in the community. With convenient parking, picnic tables, restrooms and plenty of shade trees, this playground is a great place for play dates or for meeting new friends. The playground is open all summer, and then will be renovated in the fall, with new play pieces that encourage inclusive play for kids of all abilities. 

I hope you will make time this season to re-discover the great recreational opportunities at the Riverwalk and make wonderful new memories.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy summer!

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.
© 2021 Naperville Park District