For years the lands which are now Dunphy Park had been used as Sausalito’s unofficial town dump. But in 1970, faced with the prospect that this land might be developed into a multi-story apartment complex, the residents of Sausalito banded together and passed a $560,000 bond to purchase the property. A group calling themselves the “Community Park Volunteers” formed and came up with a design for the Park. Over the next few years volunteers built the park at an estimated cost of $50,000. In 1972, under the auspices of Mayor Robin Sweeny, the park was named in honor of Earl F. Dunphy. The resolution read "In recognition of his dedication to the City: Planning Commission, member beginning with the first meeting of that body, and Chairman of the Commission as well as two terms as City Councilman".
Over the years the look of the Park changed ever so slightly, the playground was removed as it became unsafe, the Lions Club added a gazebo, the Rotary Club added a large BBQ (which was later removed), trees were planted to replace the aging original trees, bocce ball and volleyball courts were built, and sand was brought in to the beach at least once only to wash away.
In 2001 Eben Gossage, the owner of Zack’s Inc., submitted a proposal to construct 26,852 sq. ft. of new office buildings and a 232-berth marina on waterfront property adjacent to Dunphy Park. Due to resident opposition the office buildings and Marina were never built, however the City was given the opportunity to purchase at fair market value a portion of the peninsula, the railroad right of way in front of Dunphy Park, and open water property adjacent to Dunphy Park for the purpose of expanding the Park. Funding for the acquisitions came from a $1,200,000 grant for the California Coastal Conservancy and a $5000 grant from the County. The funding did come with some restrictive covenants that were recorded with the County.
Since the purchase was finalized in in 2003 two of the three parcels have been fenced off and none have been incorporated into Dunphy Park.
In 2002 April Phillips Design Works, working in conjunction with community members and City Staff, developed a Conceptual Master Plan Proposal. The Planning Commission determined that the conceptual plan was consistent with the Sausalito General Plan however there was no additional progress with this set of plans.
In May of 2012, in preparation for approving the 2013 Hobie Championship event at the Park, Parks and Recreation Director entered the Bay and reconfirmed the eel Grass locations from the May 2008 Merkel and Associates Study and bay floor levels at zero tide.
In the fall of 2012 the City commissioned Surveyor Linda Carruthers and Associates to do a topographical survey of the Park.
In 2013 a community group calling themselves the “Friends of Dunphy Park” encouraged the Council to place the “Dunphy Park Schematic Master Plan Process*” on the Council Priority Calendar for Fiscal Year 2014 with the agreement that the Friends would spearhead the process.
* A schematic master plan is a guideline that will assure that future detailed plans for incremental improvements are compatible with the City's long range view for development of all Dunphy Park lands. Desired improvements and priorities will be defined. Preferred locations for various physical improvements and activities will be identified along with appropriate guidelines such as size and technical requirements, without specifically designing them. Governmental and physical limitations and concerns will be included.
History of Dunphy Park and