THE next and final phase of Cork’s new Marina Park is “on course to begin this summer” with advance works to take place over the coming weeks, Cork City Council has confirmed.
A long-term ambition of Cork City Council, the completed 70-acre park will be six times larger than Fitzgerald’s Park and equivalent in size to Dublin Zoo.
Just 2.5 kilometres from the city centre, Marina Park has been touted as “a key economic driver” and “catalyst for Cork Docklands”.
The next phase in the park’s development will extend from The Atlantic Pond to Church Avenue and will accommodate picnic areas, adventure play areas, new paths, a preserved marshland zone and the restoration of several architectural heritage sites.
Cork City Council said it will deliver “high-quality public space and landscaping while protecting and enhancing the natural heritage and biodiversity of the area”.
The local authority said that, in order to facilitate the development of woodland trails and paths as part of this next phase, some existing trees and scrub must be removed in the coming weeks.
Ten trees will be removed to facilitate construction of the approved park design and a further 16 trees, said to be diseased or dead and hence posing a safety concern, will also be removed.
The city council said extensive new tree planting forms part of the next stage of the park, based on expert biodiversity and landscape advice, with a focus on biodiverse native planting.
The Marina Park works will include the upgrading and creation of accessible, formal and informal paths and trails throughout the park; the restoration and preservation of heritage structures within the park and the creation of a heritage trail to highlight the unique history of the Marina in addition to improvements works to the Atlantic Pond area including the removal of the existing concrete edging and replacement with a selection of hard and soft landscapes, improved seating provision and replacement of the existing concrete bridge.
Works will also include the provision of a nature playground as well as various play areas throughout the park; the ecological management of the meadows, woodlands and marsh areas to promote and increase the biodiversity of the area embracing and enhancing the existing natural assets of the site and the provision of sensitive public lighting and feature lighting.
Other associated works will include the installation of park furniture and points of interest.
Phase one, totalling 14 acres, was opened last May by the then Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who described the park as “a wonderful, valuable addition to the amenities of our city and wider region”.