The 325-acre park is named after the previous owner, John D. MacArthur, who wished to preserve it for future generations to enjoy. In the 1970s, after a university study revealed that the property was a biological treasure, he donated a section for use as a public park. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation contributed additional funds to develop the park and Nature Center.
Motorists drive within the park in the late 1940s. Folks were even able to drive on the beach and across a causeway to Munyon Island.
This aerial view of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park was taken in the early 1980s. The park had recently opened and was accessible from one entry on the southern end of the park. The land for the park was given by philanthropist John D. MacArthur, who saw its biological value and sought to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.
This aerial view shows the coastline at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. Noticeably absent from the photo are the boardwalks, built in the late 1980s, crossing Lake Worth Lagoon to the beach.
This view shows the construction of the quarter-mile estuary boardwalk crossing Lake Worth and leading to the beach. The photo was taken on January 4, 1989. Throughout the years, the boardwalk has become a focal point of the park.