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S19 Episode 03: Special Recreation: A Vital Connection



Recreation Superintendent Ted Adatto from Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) tells how special recreation programs are helping individuals with disabilities to reconnect with their community during the pandemic.
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Quote from the episode: “Sometimes we see recreation as another nice thing to do, but with this pandemic, it’s really shown how essential it is—recreating in a way that allows people to connect with their world, with their social sphere. I think people take away the fact that they are not shut in. They might be experiencing this challenge, but they’re experiencing it with other people.” – Ted Adatto

Pickleball at Fort Hill. Photo courtesy of WDSRA

Naperville Park District is one of a number of park districts in DuPage County that partners with Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) to provide access to recreation for children and adults of all ages and abilities.

WDSRA offers social and recreational programs for children, teens and adults with special needs. WDSRA brings you exciting programs created by expert staff dedicated to making sure every experience is a positive one. You get creative, innovative programming with opportunities to create social groups and make friends.

Social clubs. Photo courtesy of WDSRA

WDSRA has programs from as young as 3 years old to well into the senior years of life. There is something for every interest including: competitive and recreational athletics, Special Olympics, adaptive sports, music, dance, art, theater, social clubs, camps, trips, special events and more!

Inclusion services for any Naperville Park District program are also offered at no additional cost to the family.

WDSRA serves the communities of Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Roselle, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton, and Winfield. Naperville residents can choose any WDSRA program offered in any of our member park district locations.

WDSRA Fall 2 Programs:

Though our programs may look a little different right now, we are still bringing fun, creative opportunities to create social groups and make friends.

We know that in-person programming isn’t for everyone, just yet. So we have both virtual and in-person programs available as well as inclusion services for NPD programs.

Virtual Bingo. Photo courtesy of WDSRA

On our website you can find the latest program brochure, a guide to the protocols we are taking in our programs and answers to many questions you may have. If you prefer, give us a call. We are happy to help you find the right program for your son/daughter.

Learn more at: or call 630.681.0962.

Rec and Roll Program at Sportsman’s Clubhouse in Naperville. Photo courtesy of WDSRA


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Your contribution will help Naperville residents in need enjoy the benefits of recreation programs.

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