Dear friend of the Naperville Park District:
As much as I love sports, during my tenure at the Park District, I’ve learned of another side of recreation that is equally important. It’s what we call passive recreation. Over the last several years, feedback from community surveys has shown that many Naperville residents look to the Park District for opportunities to enjoy the outdoors by taking a walk or riding a bike on a favorite trail. As we see our community approach build out, it’s not surprising that we seem to value our open spaces and natural areas increasingly more each year.
One of the District’s Core Values focuses on “Environmental Education, Stewardship, and Sustainability.” Although being “green” is not a new initiative for the Park District, the theme of taking care of and enjoying our natural environment continues to be a major focus for us. One of the most visible examples of our dedication to environmental stewardship is our vibrant volunteer program. Through the commitment of our residents and area groups and businesses, our volunteers donate their time year-round to improve our parks for the enjoyment of our community.
With last fall’s opening of the new interpretive center at Seager Park, we have begun offering a variety of nature programs for kids and families this year. Mark your calendars for the District’s first annual Eco-Fest on Saturday, May 12 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion. This free, family-oriented event will feature an exciting Birds of Prey show and provide games and educational displays for adults and children of all ages. It also will serve as an opportunity to highlight our new nature programs for the summer.
Some of the Naperville Park District’s environmental initiatives are clearly visible, such as the Interpretive Center at Seager Park, while others are not. This is the case with the new 10,000 gallon, underground cistern at Knoch Park that will capture rainwater for field irrigation. Visitors to Knoch Park will be able to learn about the benefits of the cistern through interpretive signage to be installed this summer.
And, since environmental stewardship is an ongoing effort, we’re looking forward to other environmental projects that will get underway this summer. These include: wetland restoration at Pioneer Park and installation of a pervious concrete parking lot at Weigand Park to help protect the DuPage River’s water quality.
Whether it’s enjoying sports, special events, nature programs, volunteer projects, or just taking a walk, we hope to see you out in our parks this summer.