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

May Watts Park – Basin dredging and water quality improvements


Where will the dredging take place?

            In the pond area north of the bridge in May Watts Park.

When will the work take place?

The dredging portion of the silt removal work which is weather dependent is planned to commence the week of September 3 and last 1-2 weeks.

What is the purpose of dredging a pond?

Pond dredging removes silt/sediment from the bottom of the pond that has accumulated over time. The silt fills in the pond and reduces the depth, which harms water quality and fish habitat. A deeper pond has less sunlight reaching the bottom so there is less algae and fewer aquatic plants overall.

How will the pond at May Watts Park be dredged?

There are a few ways to dredge a pond. In this instance, divers will vacuum the silt from the bottom, which is a form of hydraulic dredging. The silt is transported through large tubes and emptied into two (2) large bags that will be located on the shoreline of the pond.

How long will the bags be on the shoreline?

The two sediment bags, 45’ x 125’, will be on site until the water drains from the bags and the silt dries enough to be trucked off site. This process is weather dependent, but estimated to take approximately two to three months.

Is there dredging work also planned for the pond next year?

Yes, due to the excessive amount of silt in the May Watts Park retention pond, a second phase of dredging with sediment bags is proposed for the basin in 2019. (Note: the exact phase 2 construction schedule in 2019 is TBD.)

What will be done with the lily pads in the pond?

Most of the lily pads will be removed in the north pond as part of the dredging. Lily pads grow in somewhat shallow water and with the deepening of the pond, they will no longer be able to grow.

Will the shoreline be damaged during this process?

Hydraulic dredging has minimal impact to the shoreline and the plantings. The access point for the divers and the location of the bags are the only areas where the vegetation on the shoreline will be impacted. Following the work, those areas will be restored.

Is this the first time the Park District conducted this type of work?

No, the District utilized this highly efficient method of removing silt and improving water quality at other retention ponds in the park system in the past, including the basin located at Knoch Knolls Park in 2013.  In fact, the use of sediment bags is a commonly used and safe best management practice. It is widely used by other park districts and governmental agencies in the area to make a substantial impact in improving water quality and minimizing unwanted vegetation.  The contractor has extensive experience and successfully completed the same type of work for other park districts in the area.

Click here for the dredging plan


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.
© 2019 Naperville Park District