“The City of Belvidere strives to improve the quality of life of its residents while strengthening the community through embracing diversity and making Belvidere a desirable, safe city in which to live and work.”

 

Welcome to the City of Belvidere, Illinois' "City of Murals".  Belvidere is located in North Central Illinois, 25 minutes south of the Wisconsin border. Only 75 miles from downtown Chicago, 83 miles from downtown Madison, Wisconsin, and 88 miles from downtown Milwaukee, Belvidere is attractive to businesses and residents that want to work or play in the area.      

History*: When the first European settlers come to the region around 1835, they camped along the Kishwaukee River, now the center of Belvidere. The settlers decided to name the town Belvidere, for the Latin meaning of Belvidere is “beautiful to see”. By the mid to late 1800’s, Belvidere became an industrial hub. Commercial transportation began in 1851, the National Sewing Machine Company became the largest employer of the city around 1900, and the Green Giant Company came to town in 1911. Now, the Chrysler Corporation Belvidere Assembly Plant, General Mills, Dean Foods, Yang Feng Automotive Interiors, and Magna International all call Belvidere home, acting as large industrial employers to the area. In 1912, Belvidere was described by business woman Sarah Jones, “You can’t catch the real Belvidere with a camera- it’s the spirit of the real Belvidere which I like- the spirit shown by its schools and churches and friendly business firms, and manifested in the ideals of its people.” This same spirit is still displayed in Belvidere, through our rich history and our new beginnings.

Landscape:

Today, the city has 25,585 residents, according to the 2010 Census.  Belvidere is an industrial community surrounded by rich farmland. Boone County consists of 147,059 acres, with 81% of this land classified as Prime Farmland. The landscape varies from rolling hills, to flat farmland, to many creeks, ponds, and wetlands. Significant woodland areas are located throughout the county and contribute to the area's character and beauty.

Business: 

Belvidere is home to a variety of shops, stores, and restaurants. There is always somewhere to go and something new to do. Ten out of Boone County’s thirteen leading employers are located in Belvidere, creating immense amounts of opportunity. With local resources for small businesses also, Belvidere is the perfect place to set up shop for your next business. A growing community like ours is a great place for any employee or employer.

Travel:

The City of Belvidere consists of 12,455 square miles of land. This includes 122 miles of streets with 4 miles of improved alleyways, making travel easy and efficient. Boone County is well connected to the region via road, air and rail. Interstate 90, US Highway 20, and State Highways 76 and 173 serve as the primary road transportation routes in the County and to metro areas.  The Interstate 90 Tollway is a major interstate and intrastate transportation route that runs towards Chicago. There is currently access from the Tollway at the Genoa / Belvidere Road and Irene Road exits.  Additional Tollway interchanges are located across the Winnebago County line to the west of Boone County at Business 20 and Rockton Road and an additional interchange at Highway 173. Daily freight rail service is provided by the Union Pacific Railroad on tracks crossing the County from east to west passing through the City of Belvidere.  The Poplar Grove Airport on Highway 76 is a local airport serving the surrounding communities. Chicago's O'Hare Airport, a national and international hub, is located approximately 55 miles from the City of Belvidere on Interstate 90.  The Rockford Airport, a mid-west regional UPS air-freight hub, is a short 20 miles to the west of Belvidere.  The Rockford Airport also offers limited national and international passenger service on various carriers.

Education: Belvidere’s educational facilities include seven public grade schools, three private grade schools, two public middle schools, two private middle schools, and two public senior high schools. The public schools are a part of School District No. 100, who provides bus services for the schools.

According to the 2016-2017 Illinois State Report Card, District 100 enrollment is as follows:

Caledonia Elementary School- 365 students, Lincoln Elementary School- 595 students, Meehan Elementary School- 632 students, Perry Elementary School- 298 students, Seth Whitman Elementary School- 670 students, Washington STEM Academy- 900 students

Belvidere Central Middle School-1009 students, Belvidere South Middle School- 815 students

Belvidere High School- 1,263 students, Belvidere North High School-1,505 students.

This totals 8,052 students enrolled within District 100. In addition, District 100 serves special education students up to the age of 21 with a transition program. This helps students learn to cook, find jobs, and go shopping.

Recreation:

Belvidere YMCA:

The YMCA houses an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, banquet room and multiple club rooms.  More information can be found at the YMCA’s website: http://belviderefamilyymca.org/

Belvidere Park District:

There are approximately 210 acres in the Belvidere Park District between three parks. Additionally, the Park District also has a 500,000 gallon pool, new ice arena, outdoor fitness court, and is home to the historic Baltic Mill. For indoor Park District facilities, River’s Edge has a full gymnasium, an indoor batting and golf cage, climbing wall, serving kitchen, and two program and multi- purpose rooms. More information can be found at the Park District’s website: http://belviderepark.org/

Summerfield Zoo:

The Summerfield Zoo is the only zoo in the Northern Illinois area. With a variety of animals and activities, the zoo provides an enjoyable experience for everyone. More information can be found at the Zoo’s website: http://www.summerfieldfarmandzoo.com/

Farmington Pond and Kishwaukee River Fishing: Farmington Field Pond is open to the public from ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset. The local pond has a variety of fish species, from bass to northern pike to bluegill. More information can be found http://www.ci.belvidere.il.us/resident-information/farmington-pond-fishing

The Kishwaukee River runs through several Northern Illinois counties, including Boone. The river has bluegill, channel catfish, and smallmouth bass. More information can be found at the Illinois DNR Website: https://www.ifishillinois.org/profiles/Kishwaukee.php

Ida Public Library:

The Ida Public Library houses approximately 80,000 volumes, collecting in both English and Spanish. It provides patrons with public computer access, free access to thousands of digital e-books and audiobooks, and a local history collection with research assistance. The library also provides community programming that includes classes, workshops, story hour, and book discussion groups. More information can be found at the library’s website: https://idapubliclibrary.org/

Boone County Historical Museum:

Belvidere is the home of the Boone County Historical Museum. With a variety of exhibits for any age, the Historical Museum is a great place to visit. More information can be found at the Museum’s website: http://bcmuseumofhistory.org/index.asp

Historical Preservation:

Belvidere houses The Pettit Memorial Chapel designed by the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Besides the Pettit Chapel, Belvidere has 31 locally landmarked buildings and four nationally registered landmarks. For more information on the historical buildings and their preservation, visit: http://www.boonecountyil.org/page/city-belvidere-historic-preservation-commission

Local Utility Information:

The water and sewer departments are owned and operated by the City of Belvidere. Water is supplied by seven deep wells ranging in depth from 120 feet to 1,800 feet, capable of producing over 12.2 million gallons of water per day (mgd). In addition to the seven wells, there are also three elevated water storage tanks with a capacity of 1.1 million gallons and two ground storage reservoirs with a capacity of 1.935 million gallons. The average annual pumpage of water is over one billion gallons. The water is pumped through more than 679,000 lineal feet of water main to serve our residents with 1,245 fire hydrants to provide fire protection. The entire water system is computer controlled (SCADA) to maintain consistent water pressure. The water system is operated in accordance with EPA regulations under the direction of a state-certified licensed operator.

Belvidere’s activated sludge/tertiary filter waste water treatment plant has a capacity of 5.85 mgd. Sewage is collected through more than 564,000 lineal feet of sanitary sewer main, over 28,000 lineal feet of sanitary force main, and 12 sanitary sewer lift stations. The sanitary sewer system is operated in accordance with EPA regulations under the direction of a state-certified licensed operator.

Our growing community is experiencing the excitement of greeting new citizens, while also strengthening the relationships of longtime residents. We hope you enjoy your visit, and visit us often. We know you will want to come back again soon!

 

*All history is cited from resources at the Boone County Historical Museum.

Moorhead, Virginia B, editor. Boone County Then and Now. Boone County Bicentennial Commission. Belvidere, Illinois, 1976.