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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Naperville Jaycees have been enhancing the Riverwalk since 1983

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Above / Thanks to funds raised from the Jaycees Last Fling held over Labor Day weekend back in the 1980s, the first gift from the young service club to the Naperville Riverwalk was the Jaycees Marina in the Riverwalk Quarry. Many years later, the service club gave $25,000 in support of Moser Tower with the 72-bell Millennium Carillon.

Above / Find the Jaycees Marina with watercraft for rent along the Riverwalk at the base of Rotary Hill.

Focused on personal development through community service, the Naperville Jaycees were chartered here in the mid-1950s. Ever since, the “young persons” organization has been dedicated to philanthropy and volunteerism, committed to building Naperville’s future leaders.

Whether holiday food baskets, hosting the annual Easter Egg Hunt, recognizing outstanding effort via their Distinguished Service Awards or planning the four-day family festival Last Fling; the Naperville Jaycees volunteer time, help others and aim to make a difference in the community.

Jaycees Playground

In 1990, the Jaycees gave funds for the Jaycees Playground that was updated in 2006. Today the spacious handicapped accessible playground is scheduled to receive another renovation! Watch for it coming soon.

Above / Find the Jaycees Playground along the Riverwalk just beyond Centennial Park on the way toward the Grand Pavilion.

Jaycees Gazebo

Later the Jaycees supported the Riverwalk 2000 Campaign with $40,000 for the Jaycees Gazebo along the Riverwalk extension, the serpentine brick path that runs from the Washington Street Bridge over the Moser Covered Bridge to the Hillside Road Bridge.

Above / The Jaycees Gazebo has been the location of intimate weddings and other romantic events for 18 years. Back in September 2001, the Jaycees and Jaycees Roosters demonstrated good will by posing by the gazebo to be featured on the cover of the first issue of Positively Naperville. Thanks for the memorable keepsake!

Above / The Jaycees Gazebo is adjacent to Fredenhagen Park where the Exchange Club Memories Fountain is another tribute to dedicated community service.

Jaycees Park

In 2018, the Jaycees pledged a $200,000 gift to create the Naperville Jaycees Park in the northeast corner of the lawn of the Naperville Municipal Center alongside the pedestrian path that leads to the Webster Street Covered Bridge.

The Naperville Jaycees Park, complete with outdoor WiFi and charging stations, is open and set for its ribbon cutting and dedication by Mayor Steve Chirico along the Riverwalk at 5PM Tues., June 4. Up next to the building is an outdoor water fountain designed to refresh individuals, pets and water bottles.

Above / The Naperville Jaycees Park features outdoor WiFi and charging stations just steps from City Hall.

Thanks, Jaycees!

And then there’s our favorite photo of the new Jaycees Park. On June 2, 2019, we took time to pause and reflect, mindful of the dedication and generosity that have created our city’s natural treasure in the heart of the central business district since 1981.

Thanks to all supporters of the Jaycees Park along the Riverwalk! Come visit.

Positively Naperville Photos / June 2, 2019

Update! 5PM June 4 / Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Jaycees Park is complete!

Above / The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at 5PM Tues., June 4, and officially opened this innovative, flexible workspace to the community. 

Positively Naperville Photo / June 4, 2019

Update! Noon Sept. 2, 2019 / Commemorative bricks are set in Jaycees Park!

Above / During 2019 Last Fling, Kim, Charlotte and Kevin Coyne met up with Jaycees Past President Matt Dingeldein to select the place to install their commemorative brick. The community is welcome to help support the Jaycees Park with special messages on commemorative bricks for $275.

Above / With a few instructions from Jaycees Past President Matt Dingeldein, Jaycee Shoshana Frank installs a commemorative brick while her mother, Peggy Frank, records the occasion. Individuals who purchase bricks have the option to choose where they want to place their bricks in Jaycees Park. They also can help install them if they wish.


The 12,500-sq. ft. park, which is free and open to the public, includes accessible and stepped entrances, permanent seating for 71 guests, 26 electrical outlets and two quick-charging stations. Free public WiFi, appropriately named “JayceesPark,” is available throughout the park, and canopies and trellises provide sun protection. Eco-friendly amenities include permeable pavers and rain gardens. In addition, 161 solar panels installed on the roof of the Municipal Center produce enough energy to power the park.

“I am thrilled that Naperville Jaycees Park is now open to our community,” Mayor Steve Chirico said. “This park is a success story through and through. From being 100 percent privately funded to weaving in sustainability both through the park’s design and energy source, I know everyone – whether using it as a workspace or just to relax – will enjoy this amenity for years to come.”

The “smart park” concept was introduced at Mayor Chirico’s 2017 State of the City address following input from the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and community entrepreneurs regarding the desire for flexible workspace near Naperville’s downtown. Over $580,000 was pledged to the park’s construction and maintenance from community members and organizations, including a $200,000 donation over 10 years from the Naperville Jaycees, who are the lead donor and namesake of the park.

“I’m so pleased to see the vision of this Smart Park finally come to life,” said President/CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Nicki Anderson. “The goal of bringing our remote workers into the city and creating a gathering space for exchanging ideas is exciting. As we continue to focus on our next generation of leaders and business men and women, this Smart Park is a great opportunity for them to gather, collaborate and enjoy the fruits of a forward-thinking community.”

PN Photo Update Below / December 3, 2020

RELATED PN POSTS / Matt Dingeldein is promoting Jaycees Park with news that Commemorative Bricks are $200 through the end of 2020. Bricks make great gifts for the holidays, especially for folks who have just about everything!

 

 

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PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.
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