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A Message from the Executive Director - Winter 2019

Dear Friend of the Naperville Park District:

With the release of the 2019 Winter Program Guide, we will publish this letter only in digital form, as we did with the Autumn 2018 Guide, leaving space in the Program Guide for a new series of infographics. The new infographic in our Winter edition explains our Fee Assistance Program, who can benefit, and ways to help. These changes in the ways we communicate are part of the Naperville Park District’s efforts to reach more of our community and along with that, to make parks and recreation more accessible and responsive to the changing needs of our residents.

Bringing free Wi-Fi to our parks and facilities is an example of providing broader digital access for our community, and something residents have requested.  In spring 2018, the Naperville Park District signed an agreement with WOW! and Digital Lobby to provide complimentary Wi-Fi in exchange for advertising space. Park District locations now equipped with Wi-Fi include: Centennial Beach, Centennial Grill, Centennial Skate Facility, Riverwalk Café, Fort Hill Activity Center, Knoch Knolls Nature Center, Springbrook Golf Course and Rotary Hill. Watch for signs in these locations reminding you that complementary Wi-Fi is available.

With the increasing popularity of recreational drone flying, the Park District has fielded requests from residents for a place where they can fly drones. On October 1, we opened one of the first drone fields in the Chicago suburban area at Brush Hill Park, located at 203 N. Whispering Hills Drive. The drone field is in the western section of the park, and includes a concrete pad for take-offs and landings, a picnic table and a sign listing the rules. Before flying your drone, be sure to read the FAA rules available at and the District’s Ordinance 641 Section 2.01 regarding Aviation/Drones, which can be found at:

Another new facility that just opened in September 2018 is the District’s first set of four dedicated pickleball courts at Nike Sports Complex. Naperville Park District introduced pickleball to the community in the fall of 2012 by adding pickleball lines to one of the tennis courts at DuPage River Sports Complex, and later, adding pickleball lines to several other tennis courts.  With the opening of Fort Hill Activity Center in 2016, pickleball open gym availability attracted many new players and interest in the sport has exploded. We anticipate that the outdoor courts at Nike will be used heavily. Four more courts are planned for the new park development at Southwest Community Park, which will begin in summer 2019, with a 2020 opening expected.

With the holidays just around the corner, we are proud once again to host Santa House on the Riverwalk, presented by Woody Buick GMC and supported by more than 16 local sponsors and many community volunteers. Santa House opens on Friday, November 30 and continues through December 23. 

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!


Ray McGury
Executive Director
Naperville Park District

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Funds raised through the Naperville Parks Foundation support the Naperville Park District’s Fee Assistance Program. The Naperville Parks Foundation supports the recreation needs and desires of the residents of Naperville – encouraging health and wellness, fitness, family time, and fun. The Foundation supports the mission of making recreation of all kinds accessible to everyone across the community, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

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.
© 2020 Naperville Park District