Marvin Gaye Park is Washington’s longest municipal park, spanning 1.6 miles through the far-northeastern DC neighborhoods of Deanwood, Burville, Hillbrook, Lincoln Heights, and Northeast Boundary. This winding park was in very bad shape, largely ignored and forgotten for decades. It had become known by many as “Needle Park,” due to the extremely high level of intravenous drug use, which left thousands of discarded needles in its wake.
Led by the dreams and enthusiasm of children from the Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings/Clay Terrace public housing developments, Parks & People has worked alongside community leaders for the last 14 years to restore and reclaim this vital artery of green in the midst of DC’s Far Northeast. Today, Marvin Gaye serves as a vital greenway and trail system. It is an example of the transformation that is possible when we listen to the real needs of our communities and look to the parks to meet them.