The Rockford Park District is very proud of its extended family of museums: Burpee Museum of Natural History, Discovery Center Museum, Rockford Art Museum, Midway Village Museum, and Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum.

The museums play an enormous role in our community, as well as the educational and historical significance they provide through programs and exhibits.

The Rockford Park District owns the land and all the buildings and structures of the museums. The ownership of this land and buildings is a public trust for the benefit and use of the citizens of the District and patrons of the museums. The museums own the tangible personal property consisting of exhibits, furniture, furnishings, records, equipment, and display cases. Each museum is governed by volunteer boards and has their own paid staff, along with many hundreds of devoted volunteers.

The museum tax collected by the Rockford Park District only partially supports the operations and capital improvements of the museums; the vast majority of their operating funds and improvements are paid for through private donations, fundraising events, admissions, grants, and gifts. Because of the tax levy, each museum is required by state law to be open to the local residents one day a week free of charge, or to provide some services to local residents free of charge.

The Rockford Park District museums welcome you, and invite your family to become members and regular visitors!


For the Rockford Park District to be the best urban park and recreation system in North America, as measured by national standards and the citizens we serve.


To 'help people enjoy life' by providing a quality park and recreation system.

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