The park was named in honor of former New York City Mayor and State Senator, Walter Bowne. He had a summer residence located on the 11.29 acre property until it was destroyed by fire. Acquired by the City of Parks and Recreation on June 1, 1925, the property was transformed into a playground. It was the first NYC park that had an instant playground in 1969. In 1994, major renovations were made to the park. Funded by Queens Borough President Claire Schulman, the renovation of Bowne Park provided recreational amenities for all age groups. A bocce court and the amenities that surround it, including tables and benches, basketball courts, a water sprinkler, playground equipment including slides and swings and bathrooms and water fountains, are all still being used today. A stone turtle statue overlooks the pond, which houses turtles. The pond itself can be used year long – a boating area in the summer and an ice rink in the winter. Bowne Park is also home to many trees, including two large weeping willows.