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S10 Episode 04: Why Players Love Pickleball – A Social Sport

Local pickleball player and organizer Jim Wehrli explains the social benefits of the game and how beginners can get involved.

This episode is part of Series 10: Pickleball in the Parks.  For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series visit  

Quotes from the episode:

“You have a Saturday afternoon pickleball session for a couple of hours, and then fire up the grill and bring food. And that's what it's all about. It really has the benefit of bringing people together.”

“One of the other great benefits of a sport like this is that you can go anywhere in the country wherever you're traveling to on business or pleasure, and you can put your paddle in the bottom of your suit case—It doesn't take up any room. And all you have to do is go online and they will show you where people are getting together and being active in the sport.  So you can play it pretty much anywhere you go.”

 – Jim Wehrli

Where to play pickleball at the Naperville Park District:

Dedicated outdoor pickleball courts with sports lighting:  Nike Sports Complex, 288 W. Diehl Road
Other outdoor pickleball courts (located on tennis courts that are also lined for pickleball) are available at DuPage River Sports Complex at 2807 S. Washington Street, Ranchview Park at 1727 Ranchview Drive, and Ashbury Park at 1740 Conan Doyle Road.  Outdoor courts are free to Naperville residents on a first-come, first-served basis.

Indoor pickleball play is offered at open gyms at Fort Hill Activity Center. Visit for the current open gym schedule.

Learn more about the Chicago Metro Pickleball Open, held at Nike Sports Complex July 16-21, 2019:


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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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