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Naperville Park District Receives the Jane Foulser Habitat Award from the DuPage Monarch Project

At the October 14, 2021 Naperville Park District board meeting, representatives from the DuPage Monarch Project presented the 2021 Jane Foulser Habitat Award to the Park District for its commitment to adding and caring for monarch habitat in parks.

Connie Schmidt, one of the volunteer leaders of the DuPage Monarch Project, cited the District’s long term plans to restore and stabilize pond and river shorelines with native plants and to convert underused turf areas to pollinator habitat. The District added 7.16 acres of pollinator habitat in 2021 and plans to continue adding native plant habitat each year.

DuPage Monarch Project is a volunteer-led organization with the goal of increasing public awareness of the plight of pollinators and advocating for increasing the amount of healthy habitat available for them. In 2016, Naperville Park District was among many public agencies that became signatories of the DuPage Monarch Project, meaning that they signed resolutions to preserve and promote monarch habitat. Since that time, Naperville Park District has added 5 monarch waystations, hosted a Monarch Festival, raised and released 175 monarch butterflies at Knoch Knolls Nature Center and has added more than 17 acres of pollinator habitat in parks across the community.

“We appreciate the work of DuPage Monarch Project in advocating actions that organizations and individuals can take to protect monarchs and other pollinators,” said Eric Shutes, director of planning. “Restoring diverse habitat for pollinators and other wildlife is an important part of our environmental stewardship.”

Updates and information about the District’s environmental initiatives can be found at

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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