Envisioned as a public space for peace and community healing, Clarence “Jeep” Jones Park is a 1.68-acre urban park located in the heart of Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. Its unique topography, comprised of two distinct levels separated by a 60-foot-high escarpment, abuts historic Elliot Square on the upper level and Malcolm X Boulevard on the lower level. Community input directed the design of the two levels as two dramatically different spaces and programs knitted together by native plantings that cascade down the hill and a striking set of red stairs that carry neighbors to and from the two zones.
Working in collaboration with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, the adjacent Timilty School faculty and students, and neighborhood activists and members, the design incorporates $800,000 in new amenities important to the community. While improvements are made to existing seating areas, overlooks, and walkways, much of the park is completely replaced, including a tot lot with water spray, basketball courts, and major portions of the vegetation. Lending the park identity and coherence, new elements include a memorial sculpture area with a sculpture by local artist Fern Cunningham entitled “The Meaning of a Life”, an amphitheater dedicated to Clarence “Jeep” Jones (the first African-American Deputy Mayor of the City of Boston), and a formal entrance gateway.