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Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge Coming This Fall

This fall, Naperville Park District is joining Edward-Elmhurst Health and inviting Naperville residents to get outside and get moving with the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge.

Hiking is a great way for people of all ages to spend time outdoors and be active. Naperville Park District trails provide an enjoyable and convenient way for the community to participate in the Take a Hike! Challenge, and the fall season is an ideal time to get started, with cooler temperatures and colorful fall foliage to view along the way.

Throughout the 8-week Challenge, which runs from September 1 to October 27, participants will receive hiking insights, special programs and tips to keep them motivated.

“Taking a walk outdoors along one of our park trails is one of the easiest ways to boost your physical and mental well-being,” explained Executive Director Ray McGury. “No matter what time of year, I urge residents to make this simple, healthy practice a habit. The Take a Hike! Challenge is a great way to help you do this.”

When participants finish and track 6 hikes during the Challenge period, they will earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award (including either a commemorative pin or a walking stick with a commemorative medallion).

To sign up for weekly emails with special event details, an interactive hiking map and more, visit

For a list of trail locations in Naperville Park District parks, see the ParkTalk Blog post, "Hiking Trails in Naperville Parks."

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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