Doing their collective part to tackle the issues of childhood obesity and nature-deficit disorder, the Waukegan Park District and Hitchcock Design Group collaborated on the revitalization of Bowen Park, one of Waukegan’s premier parks. Working with a heavily wooded site with more than twenty-five feet of topographic grade change, the unique play environment allows visitors to learn through play as they explore an allegorical forest ecosystem.
From a canopy high up in a tree, children can peer out of the forest tower, or feel what it’s like to be a drop of water as they’re whisked down a two-story “root” slide. Whether it’s traversing the spider net crawl or balancing on “fallen” logs of the forest floor, the park’s features provide a fun, challenging and adventurous way to engage in physical activity. A fitness station trail loop helps promote fitness year-round.
The project received $400,000 in OSLAD grant funding, and received the 2008 Honor Award for its design by the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Waukegan Park District
Hey and Associates, Inc.
Primera Engineers, Ltd.
ILASLA Honor Award, 2008