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A place for celebration

In 1978, Black students organized and staged a takeover of the park, demanding that it be owned by the community, not the city, and renamed for the human and civil rights activist Malcolm X. Their latter demand was granted, and in the following decades Malcolm X Park provided a safe space for neighborhood children to play and connect with the Fall Kill Creek, as well as a gathering area for community events.


A major renewal

In recent years, deferred maintenance limited the park’s ability to meet the public health, social, and recreational needs of Northside residents. The park was adopted by The Hudson Valley ReEntry Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting formerly incarcerated people and their families. In 2017, the ReEntry Network spearheaded numerous clean-ups and initiatives, including creating a new sign for the park, which honors the history and legacy of the site.

Informed by input shared through a community engagement process, improvements to Malcolm X Park completed in June 2023 include resurfaced basketball courts and new hoops and backboards, new play equipment and safety surfacing, new benches, tables and grills, a new pavilion and raised garden beds, new walking paths, and new trees and plantings. A mural and quote by Malcolm X are envisioned to inspire others to follow his legacy. New trees and native landscaping will also help to enhance the water quality of Fall Kill Creek, which runs alongside the park. 



A resilient neighborhood

Malcolm X Park will continue to be a beautiful and inviting space for all people to gather, have fun, explore nature, and relax. By strengthening the park’s connection to the Fall Kill Creek, it aims to be an outstanding place for schoolchildren to engage in hands-on lessons about this Hudson River tributary, explore the creek’s wildlife, and join in efforts to keep it clean.

As the restored landscape and park amenities are enjoyed and activated by the community, Malcolm X Park will enter a new chapter as an inviting community asset in the Northside. Beyond being a place for play, delight and relaxation, the park is designed to help alleviate future impacts of the climate crisis. The green infrastructure includes native plantings in rain gardens that will mature and provide essential habitat to boost creekside biodiversity, mitigate flood events, improve water quality in the Fall Kill, and provide opportunities for future generations to learn from and enjoy nature in the city. 


FAQs (frequently asked questions)

The City of Poughkeepsie, which owns the park.

Other partners include The PARKnership, Scenic Hudson and New City Parks. The architecture firm MASS Design Group created preliminary designs for the project.

The project will occur in phases, as funding becomes available. The first phase of improvements were completed in June 2023.

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