Marine Park is a public park located in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. Its 798 acres (3.2 km²) surround the westernmost Inlet of Jamaica Bay. Most of the land for Marine Park was donated to New York City to be turned into public park land by the Whitney family in 1920 and by Frederic B. Pratt and Alfred T. White, who jointly donated 150 acres (0.61 km2) in 1917. The land donated consists of the area between the current day Fillmore Avenue and Gerritsen Avenue and East 38th Street.
Originally almost two thousand acres (8 km²), over half of which has been donated to the National Park Service as part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, the park is mainly a fertile salt marsh which is supplied with freshwater from Gerritsen Creek. Marine Park, surrounded by the eponymous neighborhood, consists of recreational park areas and the Salt Marsh Nature Center, where myrtle warblers, grasshopper sparrows, cottontail rabbits, ring-necked pheasants, horseshoe crabs, and oyster toadfish can be found.
The area was a hunting and fishing ground for Native Americans from the nearby village of Keshawchqueren. Pits for cooking and preparing food dating from 800 to 1400 AD were uncovered in Marine Park, along with deer and turtle bones, oyster shells, and sturgeon scales. In the 17th century, the Dutch began to settle in the area, which had similarities to the marshland and coastal plains of the Netherlands
. The land proved to be fairly good farmland and there was an abundance of clams, oysters, and game from the region as well.
The park itself, which boasts a playground, several sports fields, and a 0.83 mile-long running path, was built on an ancient Keshawchqueren burial ground. The salt and fresh water mixture of the nature preserve and trail on the park land has had its own history. In the 18th century George Washington made a stop for several days on the land nearby. There was a gristmill on the water at the time; in 1938, the mill burned down to the water level, leaving only the low tide wood pilings across the water, which can be clearly seen to this day.