This playground and the adjacent junior high school honor a dedicated Bronx educator and administrator, Elijah D. Clark.
Clark entered the New York City public school system as a teacher, and became an assistant principal at a Bronx elementary school in the late 1950s. When the Board of Education planned J.H.S. 149, Clark was granted the position of principal. In 1956, the City acquired the land for the school and playground. After years of planning and construction, the school and playground opened in 1961. Serving as its principal throughout the 1960s, Clark’s commitment to J.H.S. 149 in its earliest years was recognized by the Board of Education, which named the two facilities for Clark.
Clark Junior High School is the only public junior high school in the Bronx that educates ninth graders, offering full instruction to students in grades six to nine. The school accommodates between 850 and 900 students, and one quarter of the graduates go to nearby DeWitt Clinton High School.
Maintained by Parks, Clark Playground, located at the intersection of Third Avenue, East 144th and 145th Street and bordering the Bronx neighborhoods of Mott Haven and The Hub, offers handball and basketball courts to both Clark Junior High School students and the greater area. There is also a comfort station, open asphalt areas, and benches. The playground also contains swings, slides, and wooden play equipment for younger children.