We Value Freeport and Stephenson County

Based on engagement and the research conducted, and with the help of Collaborate Freeport, the values outlined below were developed to describe what matters most to those in Freeport and to inform the public of ongoing efforts in Freeport and Stephenson County, including events, workshops and more.

Three workshops were held to discuss and move the values forward. At the first workshop, each committee started by defining their value and brainstorming strategies to champion that value in Freeport and Stephenson County. At the second workshop, each committee discussed specific tactics and goals to begin rolling out a plan for implementation. At the third workshop, a facilitator for each group presented the plan and invited feedback from all in attendance.

Art, Design & Culture

For a city of 25,000 people, Freeport offers wonderful cultural opportunities.

  • From art to theater to festivals, it’s “All In” Freeport. Freeport Art Museum engages people through art, offering permanent and changing exhibits, programs, workshops and camps.
  • The Winneshiek Players is the country’s oldest continuously running amateur theater, offering plays year ‘round.
  • The Lindo Theatre, built in 1922, was designed by world famous Chicago architects C.W. Rapp and George L. Rapp. Today it has nine screens and auditorium seating.
  • Highland Community College offers vocal and music concerts, live theater and special performances.
  • Mix in a healthy dose of festivals and events downtown and around Stephenson County and there is something to do every weekend.

Stephenson County is home to more than seven museums that celebrate the rich history of the area. Housed in an old 1911 schoolhouse, the Freeport Art Museum enriches the county with both historic and modern art galleries, featuring exhibits such as Native American, Near and Far Eastern, and European art exhibits. The Stephenson County Historical Museum commemorates Freeport’s rich past in the old mansion of Oscar Taylor built in 1857, once used as a stop on the Underground Railroad. In addition to the Oscar Taylor House, Stephenson County features the Silvercreek Museum and the home and burial site of Jane Addams at the Cedarville Historical Museum.

Diversity in All Forms

In Freeport, we value diversity in all forms. Diversity starts at home, at your workplace, with each of us. Our community strives to be accepting, inclusive and engaging in order to create opportunity for everyone. Each of us contributes value in some way and we are committed to empowering our citizens to come together to build a stronger, healthier and more sustainable region.

Hard Work and an Entrepreneurial Spirit

Home to a highly diverse business community, Freeport provides work and career opportunities in insurance, manufacturing, healthcare and the food industry, among others. Freeport is a community that places a high value on hard work and nurtures entrepreneurs through the Small Business Collaborative at Northwest Illinois Development Alliance (NIDA).

In Freeport, we count numerous Fortune 500 companies as employers including Honeywell, Newell Rubbermaid, MetLife and Titan Tire. We have companies that offer positions in insurance, banking and healthcare. This wide range of opportunities makes Freeport an attractive career and job market.

The Outdoor Experience

We love the outdoors in Freeport. We have more than 10 parks and preserves, including many miles of recreational trails. Freeport residents enjoy comprehensive recreational facilities provided by the Freeport Park District, which maintains more than 800 acres of active and passive-use parks.

  • Jane Addams Trail is a 17-mile recreational trail with beautiful scenery and 22 bridges passing through wetlands, creeks, woods, prairies, geologic formations and farmland
  • The Oakdale Nature Preserve offers 133 acres of forests, restored prairies and more than four miles of trails
  • Little Cubs Fields, a miniature replica of Wrigley Field
  • Two 18-hole golf courses cover 300 acres
  • Antique carousel open to the public at Krape Park
  • 18 hole miniature golf course
  • Boat rental operation
  • Skate park
  • Two tournament quality ball field complexes

Giving Back

Thriving communities give back. Freeport and Stephenson County believe compassion and a charitable spirit are what make our businesses, organizations and community strong! No matter your contribution, there’s always a way to get involved.

  • Stephenson County Non-Profits & Community Service Organizations
  • American Red Cross Northwest Illinois Chapter
  • Amity Society of Freeport Inc.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Illinois
  • Boy Scouts of America – Blackhawk Area Council
  • Boys and Girls Club of Freeport & Stephenson County
  • Friends Forever Humane Society
  • Girls Scouts of Northern Illinois
  • Golden Meals
  • Mother Hubbard’s Kiddie Cupboard
  • New Horizons Counseling Center
  • RAMP – Independent Living Services
  • Sojourn House
  • Salvation Army
  • Tyler’s Justice Center
  • United Way of Northwest Illinois
  • VOICES Domestic Violence Program

Always Learning

In Freeport, we’re always learning. Whether you’re looking for public or private schools, Freeport offers excellent choices.

Community residents have a choice of both public and private elementary and high school. Freeport is served by Freeport School District 145, which offers a comprehensive educational program for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Freeport School District has:

  • Elementary International Baccalaureate candidate magnet school
  • Five other elementary schools (Preschool–4th grade)
  • Two middle schools (grades 5-8)
  • One high school (9th–12th grade) with a Grammy-award-winning music program
  • One alternative high school, and a smaller transitional education facility
  • A wealth of private and parochial school choices can also be found in Freeport. Also located in Freeport is Highland Community College’s 140-acre campus. The two-year college serves a district population of 90,000 over a four-county area. The college enrolls approximately 7,500 students annually, and offers degrees in 28 majors and certificates in 21 different career programs. Highland students may also complete a four-year degree through Columbia College, which is also located on the campus.

Get “All In” and let’s champion the Freeport Values together.