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Volunteers Glean a Harvest at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots

On Tuesday, October 12, a group of 32 volunteers walked through the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots to glean any leftover vegetables following the close of the 2021 gardening season. The volunteers collected 1,705 lbs. of produce which was donated to Loaves and Fishes Community Services. Additionally, over the summer, donations including the yield from the master gardeners’ “Giving Garden” and from other gardeners’ donations totaled 2,109 lbs. of vegetables. The 2021 harvest more than doubled what was collected in 2020.

One of the master gardeners, Jan Gricus, commented that in spite of the drought, 2021 was a good year for gardening. “Because of the dry spring, the garden soil was easier for the Park District to till when preparing the plots for the season,” she explained. “As a result, the soil was excellent to work with. This is in contrast to a very wet spring, which leaves the soil clumpy and harder to till. Although dry conditions continued through the summer, gardeners had the option of watering more often and the plants thrived in the sunshine. During years when there is too much rain and overcast skies, plants suffer and there is not much that gardeners can do to compensate.”

Volunteers at the gleaning included 20 master gardeners, a few Garden Plot Ambassadors and individuals from Naperville Community Gardeners, the Naperville Evening Kiwanis, Molex and WDSRA’s day program that meets at Sportsman’s Park. 

“It was a fun group with a great heart for helping and staying to the end,” said Volunteer Manager Lynnette Hoole.

To learn more about gardening at the Ron Ory Community Garden Plots, visit

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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