ParkTalk Podcast
ParkTalk Blog
  • 630-848-5000
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Participation Guidelines. More information regarding the District’s response can be found here

Chuck Papanos Honorary Garden Dedication Set for July 30 at 12 Noon

Naperville Park District is honoring the late Chuck Papanos, former North Parks and Riverwalk Operations Manager, with a dedication ceremony at 12:00 noon on Friday, July 30. The ceremony will take place at the garden planted in Chuck’s honor, located just west of the Grand Pavilion at 912 Sindt Court. The dedication had been planned for 2020 as a tribute to Chuck prior to his retirement from the Park District, but was postponed due to the pandemic. The community is welcome to attend the ceremony.

Prior to his passing last summer from T-cell lymphoma, Chuck Papanos managed Naperville’s Riverwalk and the many community parks on the city’s north side, including Centennial Beach and Nike Sports Complex. For nearly 20 years, colleagues say, he was the “quiet hero” behind the Riverwalk’s care as well as events like the Riverwalk Art Fair, the Sprint Triathlon, and the Healing Field of Honor at Rotary Hill.

Those who plan to speak at the garden dedication include Park District Executive Director Ray McGury, who will serve as emcee, the City of Naperville’s Director of Transportation, Engineering and Development Bill Novack, former Riverwalk Administrator Jan Erickson, Founder of Hitchcock Design Group Rick Hitchcock, the Park District’s North Parks and Riverwalk staff, and Chuck’s wife, Ann Marie Papanos.

Connect your business’s brand with a well-known and respected one like
the Naperville
Park District’s and reach a large, active and diverse audience.

To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities
contact Stacey Fontechia Sales and Sponsorship Manager at 630-848-3575 or at
Please consider making a donation of any amount to our Fee Assistance Program.
Your contribution will help Naperville residents in need enjoy the benefits of recreation programs.

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