Washington Square Park is a Marysville city park comprising 3.5 acres, located between 11th and 9th Streets and D and F Streets. It was originally octagonal in shape, but the Marysville City Council sold off the southwest quarter of it for commercial buildings to be built. Highway 20 now forms its southwest boundary, while Washington Square (the street) forms its northern boundary. The park features picnic tables for outdoor dining. The Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox have a clubhouse in Washington Square Park.
Per Marysville Municipal Code § 16.20, it is illegal to possess or consume any alcoholic beverage in Washington Square Park without a permit. Punishment is a $250 fine.
Per Marysville Municipal Code §16.04, it is illegal to be in any park or recreation area in Marysville except Beckwourth Riverfront Park Complex at any time between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. It is also illegal to play "hazardous games"—including horseshoe tossing, archery, and flying a motorized model airplane—in any park or recreation area in Marysville. Punishment for either of these offenses is a $250 fine.
Washington Square Park was established in 1851 as Marysville's town square. It was the largest park in Marysville at the time the city was incorporated. Many historians say that it qualifies as a historic site under California state law, although an environmental impact report conducted in 2008 said it does not.
In April 2007, the Marysville City Council first attempted to sell the southwest quarter of the park for retail development. Citizens to Preserve Marysville's Parks filed and won a lawsuit that prevented the sale on the grounds that the Marysville City Council had not submitted the required environmental impact report. The environmental impact report was then completed in 2008, and the Marysville City Council subsequently sold the park.
In January 2009, 15 trees in the park, mostly elms ranging from 30 to 100 feet tall, were wholly encased in black fabric netting to prevent birds from nesting in them. This was because environmental laws intended to prevent the destruction of rare birds' habitat could prevent the trees from being chopped down to build the proposed retail development. Yet by encasing the trees in netting, the city thwarted the purpose of the environmental laws by simply destroying the rare birds' habitat even sooner than it would have been destroyed with no such environmental laws in place. The netting remained in place for over a year until the land was sold.