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More Wildlife in Winter? Why we See Wildlife More Often During the Wintertime

Ever notice that it's easier to spot wild animals in the winter?

It doesn't mean there's an increase in the number of animals though. Here's why we see wildlife more often during the wintertime:

  • Young animals born this summer, such as coyotes, are searching for territorites of their own, and eventually a mate.
  • There are less leaves on the trees, shrubs and other plants so it's easier to see wildlife like deer.
  • When it snows, most animals will stand out against a white background, even if they are mostly white, like an opossum.
  • There's less food in winter so wild animals spend more time searching for food, coming out during the day even if they are normally nocturnal, like raccoons.


But with the increased number of sightings and possible encounters with wildlife, park visitors need to increase their level of awareness regarding certain wild animals - coyotes and deer in particular. Our pets can be seen as competitors, for territory, by coyotes. And white-tailed deer, who are in mating season now, become less cautious near roads. 


To keep you safe this fall and winter, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has some great advice:

  • Visit here for pet owner safety tips.
  • And visit here for information on how to avoid deer as you drive our local roadways.


Enjoy this upcoming winter and stay safe out there!




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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.
© 2021 Naperville Park District