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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Naperville Riverwalk ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign continues


Above / During the Riverwalk 2000 fundraiser launched in 1997, the Daily Herald sponsored a “Buy a Brick” ad campaign featuring different residents holding the “Your Name Here” 4 x 8 brick. (PN File Photo 1997)

Yes! The “Buy a Brick” or granite stone Riverwalk fundraising campaign is active.

Jaycees Park is located just east of the Naperville Municipal Center, near the Webster Street Covered Bridge, just steps from shopping and dining opportunities in downtown Naperville.

And now a new “buy a brick” opportunity lets friends of the Riverwalk place a commemorative message at the new Naperville Jaycees Park.


Above / Commemorative bricks outline the serpentine brick Riverwalk along the DuPage River from Washington to Hillside streets in downtown Naperville, where community service is celebrated with amenities such as Exchange Club Memories Fountain in Fredenhagen Park and the Jaycees Gazebo near the gateway to North Central College.

Recent inquiries directed to the Naperville Riverwalk Foundation prompted the idea to provide visitors with information that the commemorative brick pavers still are available, now in two sizes for the East Extension.

Granite stones also are available. The commemorative engraved stones, $2,500 each, provide a lovely border around Exchange Club Memories Fountain.

Many longtime friends of the Riverwalk have fond memories of the first “Buy a Brick” campaign, featured within Riverwalk 2000 fundraising that was launched one afternoon in 1997 in a tent in the parking lot of Dean’s Fine Clothing. In the freezing cold, volunteers began selling commemorative bricks to raise private funds to extend the winding brick path along the DuPage River from Washington to Hillside streets.

Back then, Cliff Preston was Chairman of the Riverwalk Commission. Preston also helped to advance a second fundraising campaign about five years later that was developed to help the Exchange Club of Naperville fund its Memories Fountain as well as other features and landscaping in Fredenhagen Park.

Brick Pavers for Riverwalk Extension & Fredenhagen Park

Brick pavers for the Riverwalk extension are $150 each.  The 4″ x 8″ bricks follow the “serpentine” brick path from the Washington Street Bridge to the Hillside Street Bridge. Every brick provides space for a memory or name on three lines with up to 12 characters each. Note that punctuation and every space between words are considered one character.

P l a c e    y o u r  

m e m o r y    h e r e !

J u s t    $ 1 5 0

Brick pavers for the plaza surrounding the Exchange Club Memories Fountain in Fredenhagen Park are $250 each. The 8″ x 8″ bricks provide additional lines for longer messages.  Every brick provides space for a memory or name on six lines with 12 characters each (sometimes 13 spaces on the 8 x 8 brick). Note again that punctuation and every space between words are considered a character. The messages are centered on the brick.


P l a c e    y o u r  

m e m o r y    h e r e !

J u s t    $ 2 5 0

P a y   t r i b u t e

t o   s p e c i a l

e x p e r i e n c e s !

Also, a limited number of granite stones for placement around the perimeter of Memories Fountain is available for $2,500 each.  Bricks and stones are installed twice a year.

Riverwalk Brick Connections

For historical reference, the Riverwalk 2000 campaign with the “Buy a Brick” promotion was led by Co-Chairmen Ed Channell and Glen Ekey. That campaign also featured opportunities that resulted in the Rotary Plaza, Jaycees Gazebo, Naperville Masonic Temple Plaza and Edward Hospital Plaza as well as gardens, benches and trees all along the east extension path from myriad generous donors. Today the messages on the bricks and other commemorative plaques help tell the story of thousands of friends of the Riverwalk.


Above / Exchange Club Memories Fountain provides a place for quiet reflection in Fredenhagen Park.

By popular demand and request of Rita Harvard, Channell returned to lead the Fredenhagen Park fundraising campaign in 2002, sharing the co-chairmanship with John Schmitt.  With Exchange Club Memories Fountain as the centerpiece, hundreds of citizens, service organizations and businesses contributed to the community park, a popular place to pause for a little peace  from the hustle and bustle of the day.


Above / Find commemorative bricks in the plaza surrounding the Exchange Club Memories Fountain.

Both campaigns augmented funds for capital improvements from the City of Naperville in a longstanding private/public partnership that started with gifts to begin the Riverwalk to commemorate Naperville’s 1981 Sesquicentennial. The Naperville Park District maintains the linear park.


Today proceeds from the sale of commemorative bricks along the extension and in Fredenhagen Park benefit the Riverwalk Foundation, established in 1997.  Many individuals, service clubs, families and local organizations have supported the Riverwalk with recognition of their special events and milestones that help tell the story of this city.

The all-volunteer foundation is a private nonprofit organization dedicated toward working in conjunction with the Riverwalk Commission, the City of Naperville and the Naperville Park District, to assist with funding for planned enhancements, education and special events such as the Riverwalk Duck Race along the Riverwalk from Jefferson Avenue to Hillside Road.

Fredenhagen Park

Since 2003, Fredenhagen Park has served as a gateway to downtown Naperville and North Central College.


Above / The temperature on April 12, 2016,  was too cold for Exchange Club Memories Fountain to be flowing at Fredenhagen Park. Still, in the distance the “Two in a Million” Century Walk sculpture and the clock tower enhance the park where Prince Castles, then the Cock Robin Ice Cream store, used to stand.

When it’s bubbling, the beautiful fountain provides a memorable backdrop for wedding parties, families and college graduates to take keepsake photos.

Riverwalk Gateway

Adjacent to Fredenhagen Park, a Riverwalk Gateway opens toward North Central College, too, creating an even more inviting park setting along the Riverwalk as it enters the site of the Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium. Many commemorative opportunities are in place there, too.


Above / The Riverwalk Gateway to North Central College leads to Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium and toward the Moser Bridge from Fredenhagen Park.

Find information about the North Central College Legacy Project and how to support its fundraising campaign or click here more info about the science center.

Buy a Riverwalk brick from the Riverwalk Foundation!

To order a 4 x 8  brick for the Riverwalk extension or an 8 x 8 brick for Fredenhagen Park (See samples above.), simply send a check made payable to the Riverwalk Foundation with your 3-line ($150)  or 6-line message ($250) to Jan Erickson, Riverwalk Administrator, City of Naperville, TED Business Group, 400 S. Eagle Street, Naperville, IL 60540.  Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, e-mail or other contact information.

Or purchase a brick by credit card via the Riverwalk Foundation website.

Need information? Contact Erickson at (630) 305-5984 or ericksonj@naperville.il.us.

Erickson’s voice mail provides her part time schedule when she can assist.  The Riverwalk Foundation also can provide a gift certificate, noting the approximate time in the fall or spring when the brick will be installed.

Please note that Erickson handles brick info for the Riverwalk Foundation.

Buy a Riverwalk brick from the Naperville Jaycees!

The Naperville Jaycees are coordinating commemorative bricks sales (@$275) for the Jaycees Park paver program..

All funds raised from campaigns to sell bricks help support the Naperville Riverwalk.

Thanks for your interest in the Riverwalk!

Above / Thanks to installation by the Naperville Park District, April 15, 2016, proved to be a new banner day for the Riverwalk!

Since its beginning in 1981, the Riverwalk has been a gem and a source of community pride and joy as it has grown and developed step by step for visitors to experience every day in the heart of the city.

Find more information about future plans for the city’s natural treasure in the heart of downtown on the City’s website. Or email Erickson at ericksonj@naperville.il.us.

RELATED STORIES:  For many features and photos on this website about the Riverwalk click here or use the “search for something” tool on the navigation bar at the top of this page.  Search “Riverwalk.”

For full disclosure, PN’s publisher/editor, Stephanie Penick, has served on two Riverwalk fundraising campaigns since 1997 and is a founding member of the Riverwalk Foundation, and recently served a 3-year term as the foundation’s liaison on the Riverwalk Commission. She loves the Riverwalk!

You’re welcome!

Come enjoy the Riverwalk every day of the year with its ever-changing  seasonal features all the way from the Hillside Road Bridge to the Jefferson Avenue Bridge. The Jaycees Marina with paddleboats and kayaks as well as Rotary Hill with the Moser Tower and the Millennium Carillon are just steps from Centennial Beach, Naper Settlement and downtown Naperville.

Make it a day, a destination and a memory!

Updated & reposted on April 15, 2016 / PN Photos

Updated on April 17, 2017 / Link to take Riverwalk Amenities Survey live through April 23, 2017.

Updated & reposted June 26, 2019 / Find new links since 2017!

Link to info about buying a brick for Jaycees Park in the northeast lawn near the Municipal Center.

Link to PN post about Riverwalk Duck Race & Jumbo Duck Contest on Aug. 14, 2019  / 

Link to www.riverwalkduckrace.com.

Link to Riverwalk Foundation website.

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PN Editor
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.