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Naperville Park District Receives the Best Green Practices Award from the Illinois Association of Park Districts

Naperville Park District received the Best Green Practices Award from the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) as part of the 2021 “Best of the Best” statewide awards competition. Winners of the various categories were announced at the IAPD’s awards event on October 15.

Naperville Park District was one of three park districts receiving the Best Green Practices Award. The others were Northbrook Park District and the Park District of Oak Park.

“One of our core values is Environmental Stewardship,” said Executive Director Ray McGury. “This award speaks well of our community and the progress we have made as a District and in partnership with others to preserve a healthy environment for everyone.”

The Best Green Practices Award recognizes Naperville Park District for a number of green initiatives. Over the past few years, the District added 20+ acres of natural areas, restoring shorelines, converting turf to meadow and increasing native vegetation where possible. Many individuals in the community joined the District in its green initiatives by recycling holiday lights, composting Halloween pumpkins, volunteering for park maintenance projects, and attending the annual Earth Day Fair. The District’s annual Sustainability Report tracks the progress made each year in energy efficiency, green purchasing practices, recycling, water quality and stormwater management—all of which help protect the environment for future generations.  

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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