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S14 Episode 02: Floral Artwork in the Parks

Listen to what goes into planning the beautiful floral displays at the Naperville Riverwalk and the wildflower gardens in Park District’s natural areas, and why staff enjoys designing these ever-changing works of art in the parks.

This episode is part of Series 14: Creative Pursuits

For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series visit
Quotes from the episode:
“The flowers are my favorite part of my job. I love deciding what goes where and what goes with what. It’s very much like painting a work of art. The only difference is that plants are always changing, so you need to think about the plant itself and how it’s going to be in the future.” – Tiffani Picco, Park Specialist II, Riverwalk

Dandelion Fountain at the Riverwalk, spring 2019

“We planted this year a different kind of cover crop (for the new perennial beds at the Garden Plots). We got some really pretty colors and different flowers while we were waiting for the perennials to root. It turned out really well. The bachelor buttons kind of took over…so it was a sea of blue. – Beth Myers, Park Specialist II, Central Parks

Ron Ory Community Garden Plots, field of Bachelor Buttons and other flowers, spring 2019

Favorite places to view flower gardens at the Naperville Park District:
Naperville Riverwalk. Tulips and daffodils bloom in early to mid-spring, followed by colorful annual flowers in pots and in planting beds, and beautiful perennials like hydrangeas and lavender that attracts pollinators.

Spring planters at the Riverwalk featuring stock, pansies and linaria

Hydrangeas along the Riverwalk in the fall

Ron Ory Community Garden Plots. Walk through the paths to view annuals and perennials and take a self-guided tour through the Idea Gardens to see varieties of native plants and get inspiration for your garden at home.

Perennials at the Garden Plots

Knoch Knolls Park. Walk along the trails to the lower picnic grove and along the river to see the bluebells in bloom in early to mid-May.

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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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