During a brisk walk along the Riverwalk any season of the year, every visitor is welcome to pause here and there to observe the wildlife, commemorative bricks and story-telling landmarks as the winding brick path follows the DuPage River. Whether shining under glorious blue skies or brightening up an overcast day, the Riverwalk is the community’s pride and joy.
Longtime residents have memories of the early development of the original Riverwalk from Main Street along Jackson Avenue, dedicated on Sept. 7, 1981, by faithful volunteers who built it, brick by brick. And just beyond to Eagle Street where the Landforms sculpture by artist Jack Arnold attracts attention, every stop provides a reminder of the generosity, volunteers and contributors that embraced the idea to design and build a linear park to commemorate Naperville’s first 150 years.
Today the citizens’ gift in partnership with the City of Naperville and now the Naperville Park District continues to celebrate can-do spirit every day from the Jefferson Avenue Bridge to the Hillside Road Bridge. Some folks have noted that the Riverwalk is the gift that keeps on giving as it serves as the backdrop for hundreds of activities, including family reunions, art fairs and concerts at Rotary Hill. And since 2000, Moser Tower with its 72-bell carillon has chimed for hours and often is illuminated for many special occasions.
Throughout the year, this natural treasure has become the centerpiece for myriad annual fundraisers such as the Naperville Jaycees’ four-day Last Fling. Dozens of charitable events and walks help heighten awareness about the unmet needs for many worthwhile causes and social services in this caring community.
Individuals might consider that the iconic Landforms sculpture stands appropriately along the Riverwalk to represent the community’s big heart at Jackson and Eagle streets.