Above / Community gathers at City Hall for groundbreaking of  Naperville Jaycees Park along the Riverwalk. Mayor Steve Chirico is pictured with several major donors and representatives for the Naperville Jaycees who contributed private funds to the project designed by Hitchcock Design Group.

Before her remarks, Mayor Steve Chirico credited Nicki Anderson, President/CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, as the person who presented the idea to get moving on a tech park in downtown Naperville.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Earlier today, the City of Naperville and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce jointly hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Naperville Jaycees Park. The groundbreaking took place at 5PM on Tues., Sept. 18, at the site of the future smart park, located on the on the north lawn of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle Street.

The smart park concept was initially introduced in 2017 as an opportunity for individuals looking for flexible work space to be able to come together in an area located near Naperville’s downtown. Thanks to commitments of nearly $400,000 in private donations from the community, enough funds have been received and pledged to construct this unique amenity along the Riverwalk. The Naperville Jaycees are the lead donor and namesake of the park.

Jaycees past, present and future joined Mayor Chirico during groundbreaking ceremonies for the new park that will begin construction on Mon., Sept. 24, along the Riverwalk.

“Just like the Riverwalk, the Naperville Jaycees Park is another great example of how our community comes together and takes an idea from concept to completion,” said City of Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico. “I’m very excited to see the Naperville Jaycees Park outdoor WiFi workspace become an added amenity for our community.”

Members of the Naperville Jaycees are pictured with a jumbo duck commemorating their generous commitment to Naperville Riverwalk that first began in 1983 with the Jaycees Marina. The duck is expected to enter the 2019 Riverwalk Duck Race next August, shortly after the Jaycees Park is completed next spring.

Once constructed, the park will include accessible and stepped entrances, several different types of seating, tables, charging stations, USB ports and outlets. WiFi will be provided throughout the park, and canopies and trellises will be installed to provide sun protection. Eco-friendly amenities include permeable pavers and rain gardens.

Energy for Naperville Jaycees Park will come from solar panels installed on the roof of the Municipal Center. The park will be free and open to the public.

Construction of the Naperville Jaycees Park is expected to begin Mon., Sept. 24, weather depending. The park is anticipated to be complete by spring of 2019.

Future Jaycees enjoyed learning the controls to help move dirt for the groundbreaking.

For more information about the Naperville Jaycees Park project, visit www.naperville.il.us/jayceespark.

For more information about the city of Naperville, visit www.naperville.il.us. Sign up to receive the latest news on the City of Naperville’s projects and initiatives via e-mail atwww.naperville.il.us/enews.

News release submitted by Liz Meil, Communications Specialist, for the City of Naperville. (PN Photos)