Located on the site of the former Pennsylvania Avenue and Fountain Avenue Landfills, Shirley Chisholm State Park covers two peninsulas south of the Belt Parkway. The western peninsula, between Fresh Creek to the west and Hendrix Creek to the east, is located just south of Starrett City. The eastern peninsula, between Hendrix Creek to the west and Spring Creek to the east, is located south of Gateway Center and the neighborhood of Spring Creek. The park is named after Shirley Chisholm, who represented the area as the first black U.S. congresswoman, and later became the first black female to seek a major-party nomination for U.S. president.
At 407 acres (165 ha), the park is the largest state park in New York City. In addition, it is the third-largest park in Brooklyn, behind Marine Park and Prospect Park. The highest point in the modern-day state park is on the Fountain Avenue Landfill at 140 feet above sea level.