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A Message from the Executive Director - Summer 2018

Dear Friend of the Naperville Park District:

Living in Illinois, there’s always a feeling of excitement and anticipation when summer is around the corner. The Naperville Park District is proud to offer beautiful parks and outstanding community events and programs to help you enjoy the hours, days or weeks of free time that you have this summer. Months of planning and preparation make possible the opening of Centennial Beach, miles of well-maintained trails, two championship golf courses, and all of our other favorite summer destinations that make the season that much more fun.

Planning also is the key to success in achieving our overall mission as a park district. Beginning in 2017 and continuing into 2018, commissioners and staff have been updating and evaluating the District’s plans for the near- and long-term future. Drawing from results of the spring 2017 Community Interest and Opinion Survey, Park District staff and commissioners met in November 2017 to discuss and create the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan, available at The new Strategic Plan focuses on four key areas: implementing long-term plans, financial planning and stability, community engagement, and use of technology and data in decision making. The District’s new mission statement also came from the Strategic Plan meetings: “We provide park and recreation experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.”

Two planning documents called for by the Strategic Plan are the Master Plan and the Three-Year Financial Plan. The Master Plan identifies priorities in land use, park development and maintenance and the Three-Year Financial Plan outlines strategies for financial stewardship. Both of these plans will be updated and launched in 2018. Once they are formally approved by the Board of Commissioners, the plans will be posted at Also in the works in 2018 is a master plan for Southwest Community Park, a 33-acre site that is currently our last undeveloped parcel of open space. Community engagement is underway and we anticipate that a long-term plan will be ready for review this summer.

Once again, the Naperville Park District has a full lineup of outdoor summer events for the community, including Sunday evening’s Concerts in Your Park, Tuesday’s mid-day Children’s Lunch Hour Entertainment, Tuesday evening’s Carillon Recitals, and a July Shakespeare in the Park performance.

We also are excited to introduce new summer events in 2018. The 95th Street Farmers Market, co-sponsored by the Park District and the 95th Street Library, will take place on Thursdays from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the 95th Street Library parking lot from June through September. The Farmers Market will bring fresh, local produce to south Naperville while giving residents another great outdoor venue where they can connect with neighbors and enjoy the summer weather. Additionally, movie nights and evening concerts will provide free, family-friendly entertainment outdoors at different locations in the community.

Finally, parents, be sure to check out our 2018 Summer Camps Guide, either online at or in the Spring Program Guide. Summer camps are the perfect opportunity for kids ages 3-17 to enjoy time outdoors, make new friends and learn new skills.
Wishing you a safe and happy summer 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