"Established in 1895, Clark Park is in the heart of Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood. With more than 300 trees, the park covers nine acres."...and is just awesome.
Public Performance, Community Gathering, Recreation, Dog Park
"Clark Park is named for Clarence H. Clark, who was the first president of the First National Bank of Philadelphia and a founder of the Union League. He owned an estate at 42nd and Locust Streets and he owned the land that would later become Clark Park. The land was being used as a public dumping grounds in the early 1890’s. An ordinance was passed on June 8th, 1894, condemning the land bounded by 43rd and 44th streets and Baltimore and Chester Avenues." Click to read more
In the year 1901 Clark Park became the home of a bronze, slightly-larger-than-life-sized Charles Dickens statue. The statue was placed in Clark Park in 1900 following a busy exposition schedule. The Dickens Sculpture is thought to be the only life-sized likeness of the author in the world and is described as, “appealing and touching to an extreme degree.”
Since then a lot has happened. Clark Park has become an extremely popular meeting space due both to it's accessibility and size. Many different large scale groups and events can coalesce on the grounds without interfering in each others events. This has made it historically relevant in that many organizations, groups and movements have held meetings and demonstrations in and around Clark Park. But it's not just important for what is and was, Clark Park stays active and relevant in helping not only itself but it's surrounding communities navigate through Covid challenges.
Their fabulous farmers market is still happening and there are socially responsible events happening with some regularity but they're not just standing by and waiting to see what happens.
On their site and in their social media new ways of viewing future strategies have already begun to appear. Their adaptability is applaudable as the organizers and caregivers of Clark Park remain focused on being a central entity in the community for both joy / recreation / connectivity and Philly spirit / indomitability / community perseverance.
While I really miss (and hope to eventually get back to) Shakespeare in the park, Movie Nights, watching dozens of dogs tango and toss about I am in no rush as we navigate these times together. I encourage you to check out Clark Park whether or not you have before, see how it's dealing in this and see how you can help or be helped.