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Park District Honored with Two Awards

The Naperville Park District brought in two separate awards recently for both conservation efforts and park design.

Pat Miller Community Engagement Award

On January 19, the DuPage Monarch Project named the Naperville Park District as the recipient of the first ever Pat Miller Community Engagement Award. The park district was honored due to its “educational outreach and for involving residents in planning and planting monarch habitat.”

“Naperville Park District is honored to be recognized with the Pat Miller Community Engagement Award,” said Knoch Knolls Nature Center Manager Angelique Harshman. “We thank the volunteers who have helped plant pollinator plants and the many residents who have shown interest in protecting and preserving monarchs.”

The Naperville Park District has added five monarch waystations since 2016, hosted a Monarch Festival, and raised and released 175 monarch butterflies at Knoch Knolls. They’ve also added more than 10 acres of pollinator habitat across the city.

95th Street Community Plaza

The second of the two awards came today when the Illinois Park and Recreation Association selected the 95th Street Community Plaza as its Outstanding Park Award winner for park districts with an operating budget of $5 million or more.

“We are honored to accept this award for the 95th Street Community Plaza,” said park district Executive Director Ray McGury. “We were thrilled to see so many people enjoying this space last summer and are looking forward to being able to host many activities there in the future.”

The 95th Street Community Plaza opened in the summer of 2020 next to the 95th Street Library. It includes a splash pad, a storybook-themed playground, and various other amenities. The idea came from Karen Dunford the library’s manager, who envisioned the park as a place where people could gather or read a book borrowed from the library.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

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