ParkTalk Podcast
ParkTalk Blog
  • 630-848-5000
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ron Ory Community Garden Plot Gleaning Yields Donations for Loaves & Fishes

Volunteers gather 500 lbs. of vegetables on Oct. 15; Pumpkin Smash event up next on Nov. 2

On Tuesday, October 15, 31 volunteers weathered a rain storm to gather the remains of the harvest following the official closing of the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots for the 2019 season.

Volunteers came from Naperville Evening Kiwanis, Metea Valley High School vocational program, University of Illinois Extension master gardeners, Naperville Park District Garden Plot ambassadors, and Naperville Community Gardeners. They gathered the produce left in the gardens, then sorted it for donation to Loaves & Fishes Community Services.

This year, the gleaning yielded 500 pounds of produce. Additionally, throughout the summer, the team of master gardeners who maintain the “Giving Garden” at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots donated 781 pounds of produce to Loaves & Fishes.

“Even though this was a challenging year for the gardeners, with snowstorms in April and too much rain, we were still able to collect a substantial quantity of produce to donate to Loaves & Fishes during our annual gleaning day,” said the Park District’s Nature Center Manager Angelique Harshman, who oversees the Garden Plots program.  “A big thank you goes out to the numerous volunteers who came out to collect, sort and load the produce on the truck.”

Although the Garden Plots are closed for the season, the Naperville Park District will host one more event there this year, which is the third annual Pumpkin Smash on Saturday, November 2 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Residents are invited to drop off their Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns to be smashed and composted into the soil at the Garden Plots. The Garden Plots are located at 811 S. West St.

“Kids enjoy smashing their pumpkins and this is the perfect place to do it,” said Harshman. ”The pumpkins will help enrich the garden soil by adding nutrients and water back into the ground and keeping the pumpkins out of area landfills.”



Connect your business’s brand with a well-known and respected one like the Naperville Park District’s and reach a large, active and diverse audience.

To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities contact
Stacey Fontechia Sales and Sponsorship Manager at 630-848-3575 or at

Looking for an opportunity to have a positive impact on people’s lives while building a fun and dynamic career? Consider the Naperville Park District! It takes all kinds of skills, knowledge and talent to serve the recreation needs of the Naperville community. If you’re passionate about the outdoors, staying active, having fun and encouraging others to do the same, then check out our part-time and full-time career opportunities.


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.
© 2020 Naperville Park District