Published: Wednesday, 16th May, 2012 4:59pm
At the town park sod turning were Mel Cronin (project engineer), Matthew Morrison (site manager), and Joerg Schulze (charted landscape architect).
Navan will have a major feature to add to the county's attractions when the new town park in the town is completed, the town's mayor, Cllr Anton McCabe, declared last week, as he turned the sod on the development work.
"For many years, visitors have been drawn to this county by its spectacular landscape, exuberant habitats, wildlife and waters," Cllr McCabe said.
"Soon, Navan will have a park that encapsulates all of these elements, located within the Boyne Valley, embracing the historic rivers of the Boyne and Blackwater."
The first phase will provide an entrance area, three playing pitches, landscaping and a looped walkway, in what the mayor described as an innovative, safe, exciting, stimulating and accessible park for everyone.
"Following many years of planning, another significant step has been taken towards the creation of this magnificent park, which will be utilised by everyone," he added.
"In the difficult times we now find ourselves in, it is a rarity to see projects such as this commence, and today is a day that we can all be proud of making this happen."
The 68-acre park was acquired from Tara Mines, and is a most wonderful setting on the river Blackwater, the mayor said.
"Indeed, over the centuries, this land has been a centre of farming and sport, learning and culture, and remains an historic landscape, steeped in Irish culture and tradition, and protected by a Special Area of Conservation designation."
He added that the project is a creative response to the development needs of Meath's capital town in creating a premier park. The attendance included his fellow councillors, Joerg Schulze of the design and project management company, URS; contractors TAL Civil Engineering, council management and officials including project manager, John Gilsenan, and engineer, Mel Cronin.
Afterwards, Cllr Shane Cassells issued a statement welcoming the latest development in the provision of the park.
"This is a fantastic day for the town and I cannot wait until it is open at the end of this year so that the public can enjoy the vast expanses of this park," he commented.
"€750,000 of the funding for this park was secured in July 2008 and we have now established an internal fund to continue to develop this park over the coming years. I think one of the most fantastic parts of the park is where the new walkway meets the River Blackwater down by the old Spicer's Mill.
"It is a truly tranquil spot and you would not know that you are in the middle of a major town."