$2m park work under way

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

Three years of hard work have paid off as the first sods of earth were turned to mark the start of stage one of the Naish and Centennial parks redevelopment.

Naish Park Co-ordinating Group chairman Jared McPhee said it was excited that work had finally begun.

“They have been working towards this point since October 2018,” Mr McPhee said.

“This has really been a labour of love for members of the group and to now be in a position to see their vision coming to life is very rewarding.’’

The group’s members gathered to watch the start of work on the project on Tuesday last week.

“The construction of the junior bike park won’t take too long and with a bit of luck the whole $2 million project should be completed in the next 18 months to two years.’’

Stage one is expected to cost $97,000 and involves the construction of a junior cycling learn-to-ride track, a destination playground, dog park and a pump track for older children.

“The whole idea is about connecting Naish Park right through to the Centennial Pool area with a destination park in-between,” Mr McPhee said

The site covers the old rugby ground that formerly had been used by Old Boys and an athletic club which had since moved on.

Naish and Centennial Park Redevelopment Group secretary Lynda Miller said arborists had cleaned up trees on the Naish Park side of the redevelopment.

“We have moved dirt in to develop a raised berm beside the car park, and even more dirt to extend the band rotunda to make it a nice area for people to sit in and around,” Mrs Miller said.

Plans were under way to start digging out for a new rose garden extending almost to the riverbank, she said.

“The roses have been ordered and paid for through a Rotary grant.

‘‘They will be planted by next month and in the long term we will look at other areas to develop.”