Mailing Address: Thurgood Marshall Regional Park - Home of the Port Chicago 50
c/o EBRPD 2950 Peralta Oaks Ct. Oakland, CA 94605
Naming update (June 2021)
“Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – Home of the Port Chicago 50” is now the name of the new East Bay Regional Park at the site of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. The naming was approved unanimously by the Park District Board of Directors at its meeting on June 1, 2021.
NAACP civil rights lawyer and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, helped defend the 50 black sailors accused of mutiny after the devastating Port Chicago Naval Magazine blast on July 17, 1944. The explosion killed 320 men, mostly African American, and injured 390 more. It was the largest Homefront disaster of World War II. The military trial took place on Treasure Island in nearby San Francisco Bay from September 14 to October 24, 1944.
Although the 50 sailors were found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison, Thurgood Marshall’s high-profile appeal paved the way for the desegregation of the entire U.S. military. Marshall went on to argue the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which led to school desegregation nationwide. He became the first black U.S. Supreme Court Justice in 1967 and served for 24 years.
The new parkland formerly known as the Concord Naval Weapons Station, part of the larger Port Chicago military complex, had been referred to as “Concord Hills Regional Park” during the planning process until the permanent naming was approved by the Board of Directors in June 2021.
- Brochure: EBRPD Support for the Exoneration of the Port Chicago 50
- Video: “A Legacy of Civil Rights: Port Chicago / Concord Hills”
About The Park
On Saturday, July 13, 2019, a formal signing ceremony took place at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station to celebrate the transfer of 2,687 acres to the Park District. The transfer was the culmination of more than 20 years of community support and advocacy. An additional 327 acres are set to transfer to the Park District at a later date.
The new park, along with a planned visitor center, will integrate the human history of the Concord Naval Weapons Station site with the natural history and outdoor recreational opportunities of the land.
Development will include future park amenities such as a visitor center, staging areas, public access points, and miles of recreational trails for hiking, biking, and nature viewing.
Opening the park is expected to take several years and will require significant financial resources. Public access is expected to come first to the southern portions of the park between Bailey Road and Kirker Pass Road.
- More information: Park Planning.
- Brochure: Concord Hills Regional Park: A Legacy of Landscape Transformation (2 pp.) [PDF]
In The News
- East Bay Times - Navy hands over part of old Concord weapons site for creation of huge regional park
- SF Gate - Navy turns over 2,200 acres for new East Bay regional park
- FOX2 (KTVU) - Plans for regional park at Concord Naval Weapons Station move forward
- NBC Bay Area - Navy Formally Turns Over Former Concord Naval Weapons Station Land for Park
- Channel 5 (KPIX) - Navy Turns Over Concord Weapons Station Land for New Regional Park
- Mercury News - Park at former East Bay weapons site could be named for Black Supreme Court justice
Visit the Park in Virtual Reality
The Park District and Timelooper, Inc. have developed a virtual reality tour enabling people to virtually visit the park to discover the history and future of this land. To take the tour, please download the Timelooper App onto a tablet or smartphone from the App Store or Google Play and follow the steps below to find the Park District’s Virtual Reality Experiences.
- Download the Timelooper app in the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store.
- Once downloaded, select the app icon to run the app. It is a white background with a black infinity symbol.
- Select your language from the drop down menu and select "START"
- Press "SKIP" if you would like to skip the introduction video.
- In the menu of different locations around the globe select "San Francisco Bay."
- Select "CONCORD HILLS," the fourth experience down from the top.
- Select "DOWNLOAD" to download the experience onto your device to be used anywhere.
- Once downloaded, select "START"
- Do you have a cardboard Virtual Reality Headset, select "YES" or "NO"
- Read the caution message and select "OK"