Have you ever been walking down North Thompson Street, or maybe stopped to admire the lush community garden on Patterson Avenue, and taken note of the squat off-white brick building on the edge of the one-way street? Tucked away at the edge of the Museum District, overlooking Interstate 195 and within walking distance of Carytown, Humphrey Calder Community Center is an unassuming place, but it has a lot more to offer than one might immediately expect.
The park is mostly comprised of one big green field. The grassy space can function as a soccer pitch, a baseball field, or a kickball field. To the left of the grass there’s a sandy beach volleyball pit and a playground. It’s a space set up to accommodate almost any outdoor community activity you could think of, but that’s only half of what Humphrey Calder has to offer.
Two doors down — separated by Richmond Fire Station 18 — the community center is a modest one-story building. Inside, however, basketball and pickleball courts provide abundant opportunities to get active even on a rainy day. The center hosts all sorts of community programs, from summer activities for kids to belly dancing lessons for adults.
Outside the center there’s a community garden cared for by the Richmond Grows Gardens Program. The group has 14 gardens across the city, but Humphrey Calder is one of the only ones with an active beehive to promote pollination. It’s been around since 2009.
Named for Richmond’s first parks superintendent, Humphrey Calder Community Center packs a lot of fun into a relatively small space. Want to learn about more Richmond community gardens? Check out our guide and get involved.