Abner Clay Park Conceptual Master Plan
Abner Clay Park is a neighborhood park in Historic Jackson Ward that occupies a portion of the block bounded by Brooks Road, Clay Street, Leigh Street, and Adams Street. Current park amenities include a tot lot, tennis courts, a baseball diamond, and an "urban plaza" with a covered gazebo. The park is surrounding primarily by residences and civic institutions such as churches and schools. Immediately adjacent to the park are basketball courts and the former Armstrong High School, which is now the Adult Career Development Center (ACDC). Ebenezer Baptist Church and the First Battalion Armory of the Virginia Volunteers (now vacant) overlook into the open field from Leigh Street. The Virginia Fire and Police Museum, Bojangles Monument, and the Black History and Cultural Center of Virginia are all just one block away from the park.
The plaza-like section of the Abner Clay Park near the intersection of Brooks Road and Clay Street, is currently underutilized. All seating was removed to deter unwanted loitering. Unfortunately, this leaves residents with no place to sit and enjoy the space informally on a day-to-day basis, or during more programmed special events. The plaza area serves as a meeting place, a starting point for tours, and a location for some neighborhood events such as the health fair. Other spaces in the park are undefined or uninviting and attract undesirable activity.