Know Your City: Ann Hardy Plaza Community Center

How well do you know this Highland Park hidden gem?

A mural featuring a rainbow, a young woman blowing bubbles, and the words "Dream Big"

This mural arrived at Ann Hardy Plaza in early 2022.

Photo by RICtoday

In the middle of North Highland Park, between Meadowbridge Road and the train tracks, Ann Hardy Plaza Community Center does a little of everything. The space includes a computer lab, a meeting room, a basketball court, a playground, a tennis court, a multi-purpose room, and restrooms. The more you’re looking to find, the more Ann Hardy Plaza has to offer.

Named for local activist Annie Hardy, the community center offers classes and programs in addition to its extensive outdoor space. There’s an after school fun club during the school year, plus day camps for kids over the summer. The center has sports leagues and dance classes, as well as classes in activities like sewing, music, and martial arts.

A mural saying Ann Hardy Community Center

The park and community center is named after local activist Annie M. Hardy.

Photo by RICtoday

Pro tip: Get a full list of potential classes — and sign up for a few — by calling the community center directly.

The plaza really comes alive in the summertime, when neighborhood kids can enjoy not only playground but also a splash pad to cool off. The splash pad was fixed up in 2019, and the community center itself has been the subject of multiple rounds of renovations — in 2022, it received a new kitchen and bathroom, as well as some accessibility modifications.

The splash pad in question, not in use as the photo was taken in November

Though the splash pad lays dormant for the cold months, it’s one of Ann Hardy Plaza’s biggest draws in the summer.

Photo by RICtoday

Next time you’re looking to learn a new skill, shoot some hoops, or take your family to a new playground, Ann Hardy Plaza may be just the place for you. Head to 3300 1st Ave. to see for yourself or sign up for a program.

This article is part of our “Know Your City” series, where we take a closer look at a hidden gem in Richmond. We’re always looking for more suggestions for hidden gems across the Richmond area — tell us your favorite.