Bowen Park Formal Garden
The Formal Garden awaits your Visit! Come stroll through the garden in Bowen Park. The Formal Garden offers one of the finest floral displays in the Chicagoland region. Beginning in early Spring and continuing through late Fall, an ever changing array of colors of annuals, perennials, and roses will greet you. The Bowen Formal Garden was dedicated in 1991 as part of the Waukegan Park District’s 75th anniversary. The gazebo and water fountain make it a favorite site for weddings and pictures. The gazebo is available for rentals for small outdoor wedding ceremonies. Lilac Cottage is available for rental as a bride's room, dressing areas or for small receptions. For more information, please contact the Parks Department at 847-360-4725.
The Bowen Formal Garden is located in Bowen Park and is accessible using the south entrance to the park.
Jack Hofflander Wildflower Refuge
Wildflowers are peacefully taking root in Bowen Park thanks to the generosity of New York artist Jack Hofflander and the Waukegan Park District.
Hofflander, a native of Waukegan, enjoyed Bowen Park as a youngster. Therefore, he chose it as the site to sow his dream of preserving endangered wildflowers. “We hope to educate the public about wildflowers and their fragile habitat while providing a visually pleasing refuge,” said Hofflander.
On May 29, 1995, Jack Hofflander’s dream materialized as friends and residents gathered to celebrate the beginning of the refuge and the initial planting of wetland wildflowers around two lily ponds and a waterfall.
The Sandee Memorial Seating Area and Shade Garden became part of the Refuge on June 7, 1996. It includes an area of prairie wildflowers, tree plantings, a waterfall which extends into the ravine and a bridge extending over the stream.
Jack dedicated a portion of his estate to support the refuge, but additional help is needed to make the project a reality. If you’re interested in giving a gift of gratitude, commemorating a special day or event, making a financial contribution, donating a plant or volunteering your time, contact Mike Trigg, Superintendant of Parks at the Waukegan Park District, (847) 360-4724 or write to us at 2000 Belvidere Street, Waukegan, IL 60085-6172.
• Park Permit & Rental Rates and Application
Special Use Permits and Pavilion Rental Applications Available Beginning March 2
Park Use Permits help the District accommodate groups and ensure guests have a pleasant, safe, and enjoyable park experience. Beginning on Monday, March 2nd, Park Use Permit green space and pavilion rental applications will be available. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received, first come, first served. Applications need to be completed and submitted in person at the Belvidere Recreation Center, (BRC) 412 S. Lewis Ave. BRC will be open on Monday, March 2 from 9am-8pm. Thereafter, Monday thru Friday, 4-8pm and Saturdays from 9am-2pm. Proof of residency and identification are required and rental fees and security deposits must accompany the completed application. For more information, please call 847-360-4700 or click here to review the 2015 Waukegan Park District Park Use Permit Guide & Application.