Marsha P. Johnson State Park: A Place of Pride

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Explore the natural beauty of Marsha P. Johnson State Park, located on the Hudson River waterfront in NYC. Enjoy stunning views, wildlife watching & more!

marsha p johnson state park waterfront overlooking nyc.

Explore the beauty of New York’s first state park dedicated to the legacy of LGBTQ activist Marsha P. Johnson! Enjoy scenic views and outdoor activities at this historical landmark in New York City.

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Marsha P. Johnson State Park is a park dedicated to the memory of the legendary transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson. Located in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, this park is a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy year-round outdoor activities in an area that was once blighted by neglect and disinvestment.

The park features a playground, basketball court, volleyball court, picnic tables and benches as well as access to nearby beaches located within walking distance from the park itself. Visitors can also explore public art installations honoring Marsha P. Johnson’s legacy as a queer rights activist at the park’s entranceway gate which includes original quotes from her life story along with a photograph taken during her lifetime.

manhattan skyline view from the park green space.

Park Significance

Marsha P. Johnson State Park is significant for many reasons, but its historical importance stands out among the rest. A leader in the fight for LGBT rights and liberation, Marsha was a pioneering force in the Stonewall riots of 1969, a major event in the path to legal recognition of gay rights.

Her status as an icon of LGBTQIA+ history cannot be overstated; her legacy continues to provide inspiration and strength to members of this community around the world today.

The park also serves as a reminder of what Marsha stood for: acceptance, respect and equality regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It celebrates her memory by providing an inclusive space where people can come together, find solace and express themselves freely without fear or judgement.

The park’s existence is a testament to how far we’ve come on our journey towards inclusivity – something that would have been unthinkable at the time of Marsha’s passing in 1992 – yet it also serves as a reminder that there is still much work to be done towards achieving true acceptance and justice for all members of society.

bench seating along walkway at the park.

Marsha P. Johnson State Park History

The 11-acre park is situated on the Hudson River in New York City, allowing for visitors to take in sweeping views of Manhattan’s skyline. It was originally opened in 2007 as the East River State Park on the former site of the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal.

In 2021, the New York state government closed parts of the park to do renovations. Trees, paths, gardens, and event spaces were added to provide visitors with an immersive experience with nature.

Additionally, the renovations added signage about Johnson’s activism as well as her life and struggles as a trans woman of color living in New York during the Stonewall riots.

bike and walking path.

Activities and Amenities

Marsha P. Johnson State Park is a vibrant oasis in the heart of Brooklyn offering a range of activities and amenities for visitors to enjoy. There are plenty of green spaces throughout the park perfect for picnics and outdoor sports, while paths provide opportunities for taking in a jog or a stroll.

The park also has a playground, which includes slides and swings perfect for kids to play on. There is also an off-leash dog run area located near the entrance so your furry friends can join in on the fun! However, no dogs are allowed outside the dog run area.

marsha p johnson state park picnic tables.

For those looking to relax and take in some nature, there are several walking trails that surround the park which feature beautiful views of the skyline. Additionally, there’s a sandy area by the water with great views of the East river and there are amazing sunsets at dusk.

Location & Accessibility

The park is conveniently located in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, along the East River near North 7th, 8th, and 9th Streets. The park provides excellent views of the Manhattan skyline and the Williamsburg bridge. It has convenient access to transportation including subways, buses, ferries, and car services.

Bus lines B32 and B62 have routes near the park. The nearest bus stations are Kent Av/N 12 St which is a short 3-minute walk and Bedford Av/N 12 St which is a longer 5-minute walk from the park entrance.

Subway lines G and L also have routes that go close to the park. The nearest subway stations are Nassau Av which is a 9-minute walk and Bedford Av which is a 15-minute walk.

one of the entrances to gated park area.

Community Impact

The renaming of the East River State Park to Marsha P. Johnson State Park in 2020 was a monumental moment for the NYC LGBTQ+ community and beyond. The new name honors the legacy and impact of trans icon Marsha P. Johnson. Beyond its powerful message, this park has had an enormous ripple effect on its surrounding community.

Since its opening, the park has become a gathering point for members of the LGBTQ+ community to come together and celebrate each other’s identities in a safe space without judgement or fear of discrimination.

It is also used as a platform to raise awareness about issues that disproportionately affect queer people, such as mental health disparities, violence against transgender individuals, and access to healthcare services.

In short, Marsha P Johnson State Park serves as a beacon of hope and acceptance while providing positive economic opportunities for members of its surrounding New York City community—demonstrating why it is so vital that we continue creating spaces like these around our world today.

FAQs about Marsha P. Johnson State Park

How did Marsha P Johnson impact society?

Marsha P Johnson was a pioneer in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and an icon of the Stonewall riots. Through her activism, she helped to create visibility for transgender people and bring attention to issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.

Is Marsha P. Johnson State Park pet friendly?

The park is not a pet-friendly park. Pets are not allowed in the park to ensure that everyone can enjoy the park without worrying about animals or pet waste. However, there is a confined, gravel-lined dog run in the park for off-leash dogs to play.

What amenities are available at the park?

The park is located on the waterfront and features a large, open lawn area great for picnics or sunbathing. There are also several playgrounds and activities for kids, including basketball courts and a skatepark. For those looking to relax, there are plenty of benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the park.

view of picnic area from green space.


Looking for more things to do in Brooklyn, New York? Here’s a few of our favorite stops.

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