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Smash Your Pumpkin at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots Nov. 2

Park District to offer other nature-friendly activities in November and December

During the months of November and December, Naperville Park District offers several ways to enjoy learning about nature and participating in our eco-friendly community events.

On November 2, the Saturday after Halloween, everyone is invited to drop off their leftover pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns at the Pumpkin Smash from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots, located at 811 S. West Street.  Pumpkins will be composted directly into the soil, adding water and nutrients while keeping pumpkins out of the landfill. Kids can smash their pumpkins themselves or families may drop off their pumpkins to be smashed by volunteers. This is a free event. Participants are asked to remove any decorations, along with candles from their pumpkins before dropping them off.

Knoch Knolls Nature Center will begin its winter hours on November 1, which are: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The Center also will be open on Sundays during November from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., but closed on Sundays during December, January and February.

The next Adult Hike with a Naturalist is planned for Wednesday, November 6 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. at Knoch Knolls Park, meeting at the Nature Center at 320 Knoch Knolls Road. View the fall landscape, learn about wildlife in the area and enjoy the fresh air. The hike is free but registration is required. Register at

Families can learn about Great Horned Owls and other owls in our area on Saturday, November 16 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the “Owl Prowl” Family Nature Nights event at Knoch Knolls Nature Center. Make a craft, go on a hike to listen and look for owls, and learn about their special adaptations for hunting at night. The per- person cost is $8 for Naperville Park District residents and $12 for nonresidents and registration is available at

Nature Discovery Days begin November 23 and 24 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and run monthly through March. The November theme is Illinois Mammals, with fun, hands-on activities, games, crafts, experiments, nature books and more for children accompanied by an adult.  The December Nature Discovery Days theme is All About Evergreens and will be offered Saturday, December 14 and 21 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  This is a free, drop-in event with no registration required. At least one adult must attend with each family.

Another family or group event with a holiday focus is the Winter Craft Workshop on Saturday, December 7, where families or scout troops can make nature-themed gifts and holiday items from recycled materials. At least one adult must attend with each family or group. The per-person cost is $4 for residents and 8$ for nonresidents.

Beginning November 18 through February 1, holiday light recycling will be available at Knoch Knolls Nature Center, Fort Hill Activity Center, Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center and Springbrook Golf Course Golf Shop. Drop off nonworking holiday lights at these locations as the Naperville Park District partners with Elgin Recycling to transport them where they can be broken down into re-usable materials and kept out of the landfill. Lights only please, no plastic bags.


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


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.
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