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Celebrating Monarchs at Knoch Knolls Park

The Park District’s first-ever Monarch Festival brought more than 700 people to Knoch Knolls Park on Sept. 17 to celebrate and learn about Monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

Master Gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension hosted an information table

Visitors watched as Monarch butterflies were released to begin their long journey to Mexico

 Pat Miller from Monarch Watch explained how Monarchs are tagged and released for scientific study

A dozen local organizations were on site to share their knowledge with festival goers. Some gave hands-on lessons on how to plant a pollinator garden and raise Monarchs at home. Kids listened to stories, made butterfly crafts, played pollination games, and looked through microscopes to learn more about the insects’ anatomy. Other fun activities included face painting, games and exploring Knoch Knolls Park on a beautiful day.

Angelique Harshman, Nature Center Manager for the Naperville Park District, was thrilled with the large turnout for the event. “We are happy that so many people enjoyed learning more about Monarch butterflies and other pollinators. We are grateful to the many organizations that came out to the event, and that people came away with practical tips on what they can do to create better habitat for Monarchs, which can be as simple as planting a few seeds in their yards at home.”

Read more about the event in the September 19 article in the Naperville Sun.

Jim Kleinwachter from The Conservation Foundation, presented, “How to Plant a Pollinator Garden”

The Growing Place, the event sponsor, brought a demonstration pollinator garden

Carolyn Finzer explains the importance of milkweed plants

Lyman Woods beekeepers showcased their honeybees

Thanks to TCBY for stopping by to sell some refreshing treats

Even the turtles at the pond were enjoying the beautiful day

Learn More About Supporting Pollinators
Here are links to the websites of the organizations that attended the Monarch Festival:

The Morton Arboretum
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
The Conservation Foundation
DuPage Monarch Project
Monarch Watch
Naperville Garden Club
Master Gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension Office
Lyman Woods (Downers Grove Park District)
The Growing Place

Upcoming Events at Knoch Knolls Nature Center
Fall is a great time to visit Knoch Knolls Nature Center and Knoch Knolls Park.

View of Knoch Knolls Nature Center from the pond, looking north

Fall hayrides will take place at both Seager Park and Knoch Knolls Park each weekend in October. The outings include a ride through the woods, a campfire and hot chocolate. 

A fall hayride at Seager Park

The third annual Creepy Critters Day will take place at Knoch Knolls Nature Center on Monday, October 9 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. This is a free drop-in program that includes a Creepy Story Time presented by the Naperville Public Library at 10:30 a.m.

On Saturday, October 21 Knoch Knolls Nature Center presents Acro-Bats, a new program for children ages 6-8 with fun activities to help them learn about the world’s only flying mammal, the bat. The program takes place from 10:00-11:30 a.m. The cost is $15 for residents and $22 for nonresidents.

On Saturday, Oct. 28 adults ages 18 and up are invited to an Adult Hike with a Naturalist from 8:00-9:30 a.m. at Knoch Knolls Park to look for wildlife. This event is free but registration is required.

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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.
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