Park Stories

Nat Turner Park

The Trust for Public Land
Last Modified : June 06, 2018 at 12:33 PM

Project Website: What started this project?

In the 1970s, community activists from Newark's Central Ward demanded green space for their community, which had no significant park to call its own. Eventually, land was designated for a park to be named after Nat Turner, leader of a 19th-century slave rebellion.

Project Tagline:

Covering over nine acres, Nat Turner Park is Newark’s largest city-owned park but has remained vacant since its purchase by the city in the mid-1970s. Located in the Central Ward’s Springfield neighborhood, the park is adjacent to Hayes Park West Pool and Recreation Center and surrounded by multifamily residential housing and several schools, including Eighteenth Avenue School, Cleveland School, and the new Central High School. When development is complete, the park will provide recreation opportunities for 19,000 people within a half-mile alone, including nearly 7,000 children. Working in partnership with the City of Newark, Newark Public Schools, and the Central Ward community, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) has taken the lead in fundraising and managing the park’s design and construction. Once completed, the City of Newark, Newark Public Schools, and the community will play lead roles in park stewardship and programming.


In 2002—almost thirty years after the park was conceived—The Trust for Public Land, the city of Newark, Newark Public Schools, and the Central Ward community launched an effort to bring that vision to reality by finally developing Nat Turner Park. We led the effort, coordinating fundraising, managing the community design process, and overseeing construction. Dedicated in July 2009, Newark's largest city-owned park provides recreational space for a neighborhood of 19,000 people, including 7,000 children.


251 18th Ave, Newark, NJ, 07108, USA


The City of Newark dedicated $3 million to the park's construction. New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection provided about $5 million. The rest of the $9 million project came from private donations.

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Playgrounds Health Equity The Trust For Public Land Programming Community Engagement

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