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A Message from the Executive Director - Winter 2020

Dear Friend of the Naperville Park District:

A little over three years ago the Park District opened Fort Hill Activity Center, the first large-scale, indoor recreation facility for Naperville, a city of more than 148,000 people.  Designed to meet the top priority needs as requested from the community, Fort Hill made possible a youth basketball league, indoor pickleball, comprehensive gymnastics training, year-round fitness activities and a gathering space for all ages.

Now in its fourth year of operation, Fort Hill Activity Center continues to be financially self-sustaining through fitness memberships while providing indoor recreation opportunities such as open gyms and an indoor track that are open to everyone via payment of a daily fee or as part of a membership.

The basketball program has expanded in several ways. The opening of Fort Hill Activity Center launched the Park District’s first Naperville Youth Basketball program for boys and girls in kindergarten through grade 6. Additionally, the men’s 35+ leagues relocated to Fort Hill on Tuesday evenings and basketball open gyms were available during other times.  As of 2020, a junior high school basketball league has been added, along with a women’s 3v3 league, a year-round men’s league and a special needs basketball open gym. Naperville Youth Basketball has expanded to Sundays in addition to Saturdays and still has a wait list. Basketball open gyms include adult, youth and family times with several available nearly every day of the week.

The gymnasiums at Fort Hill also have fueled the growth of pickleball in Naperville. Pickleball open gyms are now scheduled 5 days per week along with Pickleball Basics classes offered seasonally for beginning players. Pickleball players who enjoy indoor play at Fort Hill have asked for more outdoor courts, which are planned for the continuing renovations at Knoch Park and Wolf’s Crossing Community Park, which will open to the community in 2020.

Fort Hill’s gymnastics room, fully equipped for all levels of learning to accommodate the youngest child up to the high school gymnast, hosts a progressive gymnastics skill program for ages 1-14 and a competitive, in-house team program for gymnasts at the advanced levels.

Overlooking both the gymnastics room and the gymnasiums with windows and natural lighting, the indoor track provides an inviting place for walking, jogging and running year-round, whether to escape the cold or hot temperatures or to enjoy a workout in a friendly environment.

Group exercises classes such as Zumba overflowed into the gym, prompting the Park District to build out the remaining space on the Fort Hill footprint to open Studio D in October 2019. Already, this new wood floor studio is busy hosting a variety of fitness programs.

Reflecting on the success of the Fort Hill facility, the Park District is proud to offer this resource that is central to our mission of providing recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community. We look forward to further dialogue with our residents about how the Park District will continue to fulfill residents’ recreation needs as the community continues to grow and change.

Finally, as the holiday season approaches, on behalf of our board and staff, I want to express my gratitude for our community partners, sponsors, volunteers and all of our residents who enjoy the parks and programs we offer all year long!

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!



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