Welcome to the home of Friends of Veterans Memorial Circle.

SPRUCE UP WEEK 2021: May 15-22


Just west of the Rock River near downtown Rockford, Illinois – at each quadrant of the roundabout where Main and Auburn streets intersect – is a plaque that tells the story of local veterans. Together, these plaques cover service and sacrifice from the Revolutionary War to the present. Erection of these plaques in 2014 made this historic crossroads Veterans Memorial Circle.

To transform this unusual and easily missed memorial into a fitting tribute to Winnebago County veterans, we – an ever-growing group of neighborhood volunteers – adopted the grounds in and round Veterans Memorial Circle in 2019 as a community beautification project.

In May 2019, more than 300 volunteers gathered on one day to plant thousands of annuals and perennials, bringing stunning color to the center of the circle and to the surrounding streetscape.

In 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, we worked in smaller groups over a month’s time – and we planted even more flowers.

  • All the work of volunteers!
  • And 100% privately funded, with no major benefactor – just a lot of people giving what they can.

In 2021, we again will be planting over several sessions. This year, over a week’s time. The areas we have to plant are large enough to ensure socially distant teams in a COVID-safe environment. For details on our planting sessions this year, click here.

Why are we so passionate?

This year marks a decade anniversary to be acknowledged but not celebrated. We acknowledge the 20th anniversary of our war in Afghanistan – the longest war in U.S. history. Service members have also been deployed to Iraq, Syria and other areas of the world where conflicts have put them in danger. They have not gotten the parades that welcomed returning veterans before them. With this effort, we are giving them – and all veterans – a parade of color to salute them for their service. Our parade does not last one day, it last from early spring to late fall.


To learn more about what we do day to day, follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

To donate to our effort, click here.

To ask a question, email us here.


A Rockford veteran's perspective