Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

March 17, 2021

Dan Keefe | Brian Nearing
(518) 486-1868 |

Public Design Workshop Schedule Set for Marsha P. Johnson State Park

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) invites participation in public design workshops for Marsha P. Johnson State Park in Brooklyn. The workshops will help develop a shared vision for the commemorative design and interpretive elements to celebrate the life of Marsha P. Johnson and the LGBTQ+ movement.

To allow many voices with varying schedules to be accommodated, a series of workshops will be held at the park located at 90 Kent Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211 on the following dates:

Initial public listening session:

Wednesday, March 31 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.

Saturday, April 3 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.

Public design review:

Tuesday, April 20 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.

Saturday, April 24 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.

Final public review:

Saturday, May 1 – 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm.

The workshops will seek public input for new design alternatives for the park. State Parks has withdrawn an August proposal for a mural on the concrete platforms in the park and floral interpretive elements in the gantry plaza area.

Construction on park infrastructure improvements, which was temporarily suspended, will resume Thursday to remain on schedule for completion by June 1. Work includes:

  • Construction of a Park House with classroom and restrooms;
  • Repair and reduction of concrete platforms by approximately 27,000 square feet to create additional greenspace;
  • Stormwater drainage improvements;
  • Installation of a new water line for landscape maintenance; and
  • New ADA-compliant pathways and restored cobblestones.

The park is partially open during construction. The north section of the park and the dog run remain accessible through neighboring Bushwick Inlet Park.

Marsha P. Johnson, formerly East River State Park, was dedicated to her namesake in August 2020. Known as an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights and HIV/AIDS treatment, Marsha was a prominent leader of the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 and later established a shelter in New York City to support LGBTQ young people rejected by their families. She was born August 24, 1945 and died in 1992 at age 46.

She was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, an activist with ACT UP, and a co-founder of Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, or S.T.A.R., along with Sylvia Rivera. Born in New Jersey, Marsha moved to Greenwich Village after graduating from high school. She turned her hardships and her struggles with mental illness into activism for others, participating in demonstrations with ACT UP and raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City. 

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches, which are visited by 78 million people annually. For more information on these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.