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S9 Episode 02: Outdoor Fitness in Parks

Guests Kristina McGrath and Mike Piszynski discuss the outdoor fitness opportunities that Naperville Park District offers currently and will offer in the near future. Kristina explains how to use the fitness stations at 3 parks and previews a new outdoor fitness class coming this spring.  Mike talks about the fitness area, challenge course and multi-purpose hill planned for the new park opening in 2020.

This episode is part of Series 9: Outdoor Play and Fitness Destinations.  For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series and to submit ideas and questions, visit

Quotes from the episode:

About the benefits of exercising outdoors:  “It’s free…it’s open to anybody to use. You’re connecting with nature, getting some fresh air and vitamin D…and you can bring your kids with you.” – Kristina

About amenities coming to our newest park in 2020:  “There’s going to be a challenge course adjacent to the fitness area. It’s basically an obstacle course with a number of unique challenges. It’s kind of like an adult playground, designed for ages 13 and up.” - Mike

In the videos below, Kristina McGrath demonstrates how to use the six fitness stations that were highlighted in the podcast. They are located at Nike Sports Complex and some of the same stations (HealthBeat) also are located at Meadow Glens Park. A set of similar stations (LifeTrail) is located along the loop trail at Commissioners Park. The fitness stations at Nike Sports Complex were provided by Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare in partnership with Naperville Park District.

These exercises also were illustrated in the September 2019 edition of Naperville Magazine in the Open Gym feature.

1. Squat Press

2. Chest Press and Seated Row

3. Assisted Row and Push-Up

4. Ab Crunch and Leg Lift

5. Pull-up and Dip

6. Stretching

Learn more and register for the Outdoor Grit class to be offered outside Fort Hill Activity Center in May, June, July and August 2019.

View updates on the progress of the new park to be constructed at 3252 Wolf’s Crossing Road in Naperville beginning in summer 2019 and opening in summer 2020.

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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