News

EBRPD gets $3 million for Thurgood Marshall Park

District hopes staging area will open in 2025

The East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors last week unanimously voted to accept $3 million from the state to build the first staging area and visitor center in Concord for the new Thurgood Marshall Regional Park - Home of the Port Chicago 50.

The money comes from the state budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 30. The request was submitted by Assemblymember Tim Grayson, D-Concord.

"We thank Assemblymember Tim Grayson for his work and leadership in securing these funds," district board member Beverly Lane, who has represented Concord on the board since 1994, said in a statement. "Assemblymember Grayson has supported this new regional park since he served on the Concord City Council."

The future park will be on 2,600 acres of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. Development of the 5,046-acre site on the city's northeast side has been the city's biggest issue since the Navy abandoned it in 1999.

The Navy officially designated it as surplus and made Concord the local reuse authority for the site, of which 2,300 acres are targeted for 13,000 units of housing and millions of square feet of commercial space.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

The regional park's name commemorates the nearby Port Chicago tragedy during World War II. After 20 years of community support and advocacy, the Navy formally gave the land to the park district in 2019.

Former U.S. Supreme Court justice and renowned civil rights advocate Thurgood Marshall represented the Black sailors, known as the Port Chicago 50, in the case that inspired desegregation of the U.S. Navy. The park currently has no public access.

"It is an honor to play a part in establishing the first formal public access to Thurgood Marshall Regional Park - Home of the Port Chicago 50," Grayson said in a statement. "The new park, along with a planned visitor center, will integrate the human history of the site, along with the natural history and outdoor recreational opportunities of the land."

"Importantly, we have an obligation to elevate the history of the Port Chicago 50, the fifty African American sailors whose bravery in standing up for civil and workers' rights led to the desegregation of the military," Grayson said.

The site is also home to decades-old military bunkers, representing the area's past. The park will provide outdoor recreation activities, including hiking and biking, as well as visitor amenities such as restrooms, bike racks, and educational panels highlighting the park's important history.

The district hopes to open the new staging area in 2025.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Follow DanvilleSanRamon.com on Twitter @DanvilleSanRamo, Facebook and on Instagram @ for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

EBRPD gets $3 million for Thurgood Marshall Park

District hopes staging area will open in 2025

by Tony Hicks / BCN Foundation /

Uploaded: Fri, Nov 25, 2022, 4:37 am

The East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors last week unanimously voted to accept $3 million from the state to build the first staging area and visitor center in Concord for the new Thurgood Marshall Regional Park - Home of the Port Chicago 50.

The money comes from the state budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 30. The request was submitted by Assemblymember Tim Grayson, D-Concord.

"We thank Assemblymember Tim Grayson for his work and leadership in securing these funds," district board member Beverly Lane, who has represented Concord on the board since 1994, said in a statement. "Assemblymember Grayson has supported this new regional park since he served on the Concord City Council."

The future park will be on 2,600 acres of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. Development of the 5,046-acre site on the city's northeast side has been the city's biggest issue since the Navy abandoned it in 1999.

The Navy officially designated it as surplus and made Concord the local reuse authority for the site, of which 2,300 acres are targeted for 13,000 units of housing and millions of square feet of commercial space.

The regional park's name commemorates the nearby Port Chicago tragedy during World War II. After 20 years of community support and advocacy, the Navy formally gave the land to the park district in 2019.

Former U.S. Supreme Court justice and renowned civil rights advocate Thurgood Marshall represented the Black sailors, known as the Port Chicago 50, in the case that inspired desegregation of the U.S. Navy. The park currently has no public access.

"It is an honor to play a part in establishing the first formal public access to Thurgood Marshall Regional Park - Home of the Port Chicago 50," Grayson said in a statement. "The new park, along with a planned visitor center, will integrate the human history of the site, along with the natural history and outdoor recreational opportunities of the land."

"Importantly, we have an obligation to elevate the history of the Port Chicago 50, the fifty African American sailors whose bravery in standing up for civil and workers' rights led to the desegregation of the military," Grayson said.

The site is also home to decades-old military bunkers, representing the area's past. The park will provide outdoor recreation activities, including hiking and biking, as well as visitor amenities such as restrooms, bike racks, and educational panels highlighting the park's important history.

The district hopes to open the new staging area in 2025.

Comments

There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.