NAPERVILLE RIVERWALK FOUNDATION
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What is the Riverwalk Foundation?
Naperville’s Crown Jewel
Planned in the late 1970s to commemorate Naperville’s 150th anniversary in 1981, the Naperville Riverwalk was a gift to the City of Naperville from its citizens. Built by volunteers brick by brick, the winding path along the DuPage River was originally dedicated on Labor Day in 1981 in conjunction with a citywide Sesquicentennial Celebration.
The original section of the Riverwalk runs from Main Street west to Eagle Street and incorporates the Riverwalk Amphitheater, Labyrinth, Millennium Wall, Free Speech Pavilion, Dandelion Fountain, Exchange Club Veterans Plaza and Exelon Garden.
In the mid 1990s the park was expanded west through Sindt Woods to Jefferson Avenue. In the late 1990s plans and fundraising began to expand the Riverwalk east to Hillside Road.
The linear park now boasts more than 1.75 miles of paved pathways, three covered bridges, a handicapped accessible playground, a visitor center, a world-class 72-bell tower and other adjacent amenities.
Fredenhagen Park, a gateway to North Central College and downtown Naperville, opened in November 2003. Its official dedication was May 22, 2004. As one of the city’s most visible community endeavors, the tribute to Grace and Walter Fredenhagen represents generous gifts from hundreds of local residents, businesses and service organizations. With the Exchange Club Memories Fountain as its centerpiece and a Century Walk sculpture of Grace and Walter Fredenhagen titled “Two in a Million” near the Clock Tower, Fredenhagen Park adorns the Riverwalk for all to experience with reflection and peace.
Today the attractive Riverwalk is enhanced with meeting and event places, outdoor sculpture and artwork, recreational facilities, and celebratory memorials. The Riverwalk is enjoyed as a preferred destination to stroll, gather with friends, watch wildlife and relax in the heart of downtown.
Changing with every season, the Riverwalk offers something for everyone every day, finding its way to create memories for generations to come.