Maria Hernandez Park
Irving Ave., Kinickerbocker Ave. bet. Starr St. and Suydam St.
Directions via Google Maps
Always packed with people and activities, Maria Hernandez Park is the largest community park in Bushwick and the neighborhood's center of public life. Entrances to the park are found on each corner, and they connect to a circular plaza with a wild and undulating design that is often used for events. Kids love the rainbow-colored playground found on Knickerbocker Avenue, with its big play area, nearby comfort station and a water feature perfect for safe play. The other sections of the park have active areas for volleyball, handball, basketball, and an asphalt little league yard with a workout area. An entrance on Willoughby Avenue is pooch central, and you can always find neighborhood pups playing in the small or large dog runs.
Originally named Bushwick Park, in 1989 the City Council renamed this park for a community leader who gave her life in the fight to rid her block of drug dealers. Maria Hernandez and her husband Carlos often pleaded with drug dealers to leave the streets and provided information to the police about drug trafficking. To rally support for her efforts and to educate her neighbors about the need to evict the dealers, Hernandez organized block parties, athletic activities, and social and cultural gatherings. On the morning of August 8, 1989, Hernandez was struck by five shots fired through the window of her Starr Street home and died soon after. Today, the park's vibrancy, diversity, and safety stand as a testament to Maria Hernandez and her legacy.
Discover the history of Maria Hernandez Park
Join NYC Parks and New York City Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment for this free film! Love in the Time of...
Directions to Maria Hernandez Park
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