New athletic fields, walking paths and other amenities have been completed at Naperville’s Knoch Park, culminating a roughly two-year partnership between the park district and Naperville Unit District 203.
Park board President Mike Reilly said during a grand reopening ceremony Thursday for Knoch Park that “we had the need to expand pickleball to four courts because it is one of the fastest growing sports in the Naperville Park District, which I never ever heard of three or four years ago.”
In addition, Reilly said, “District 203 had the need for the girls softball field and the Naperville Park District had the need for the synthetic field for the residents.”
The upgrades were designed to address an increased need for athletic fields in the area, as well as to expand the park’s use by school athletes, park district participants and community members, officials said. The new features were shown off during Thursday’s event, which included a ribbon-cutting and remarks by park district and District 203 leaders.
The first phase of improvements included the construction of a girls varsity softball field to be maintained and used largely by Naperville Central High School, though it will also be available for some community use.
At the center of the project’s second phase was a synthetic turf field with sports lighting to be used for soccer, lacrosse, football, rugby and other programs, officials said. Walking trails, landscaping, a circular driveway and four pickleball courts also were added.