As Belvidere grew in population the need for park spaces increased, both to provide open recreational land and as a beautifying element to attract new families and businesses to settle in Belvidere. On Nov. 4, 1919, an election was held resulting in 764 yea votes versus 280 nay votes to establish the Belvidere Township Park District and to elect a board of five park commissioners.
On March 9, 1920 a fifty-five acre parcel, known as the Baltic Mill tract, was purchased from Frank Taylor for $14,500. It included the Mill, a residence on West Lincoln Avenue, the river dam, the mill race, Gooseberry Island, and a parcel of land on the south bank of the Kishwaukee River, which included an entrance from West Locust Street to the dam. The Baltic Mill was eventually also converted to shelter space and in 1935 it was used as a community theater. Subsequent land purchases over the next few months added land adjacent to the Taylor property to the present park boundaries. Gooseberry Island, the land between the mill race and the river, was cleared of brush and debris, and picnic tables, fireplaces, and water were added to create family picnic spots. Access to the island was provided when two suspension bridges were installed, one crossing the mill race near Baltic Mill and the other spanning the river from the south. Read More of the History.
Parks & Conservation Foundation
Do you find yourself looking for a reputable charity to donate money? Are you wishing Belvidere had more park land? Are you tired of seeing subdivision after subdivision being built? The Parks and Conservation Foundation may be just what you’re looking for. Established in 1992, the Parks and Conservation Foundation’s mission is to assist the Belvidere Park District and the Boone County Conservation Distict to acquire and develop land. To date, the Parks and Conservation Foundation holds title to over 1 million dollars worth of land through grants. Our recent project is the building of the playground in Bob’s Park. This neighborhood needed a playground for the vast number of children in the area to have a safe place to play. Please consider a donation of money to the Foundation’s general fund. Since the Parks and Conservation Foundation has a 501 (C) (3) status, all gifts are tax deductible. If you have land you wish to have preserved in its natural state, the Foundation will be happy to work with you to make your dream come true. Learn More.
Volunteer Your Time
The Park District is always looking for individuals to give their time to help better the community. We have many different programs and special events that rely on volunteers like yourselves to run. You can pick up a volunteer application at the Belvidere Park District offices or just talk to one of our friendly staff members to get involved. Learn More.