The fundraising campaign organised by the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation and the Foundation of August Ludvig Hartwall to establish and protect a Children’s Forest was completed successfully regarding the forest purchase. The fundraising campaign was launched in May 2021, and the purchase of a property named Arola in Suomussalmi was completed at the end of December.
“The area chosen to become the Children’s Forest includes some extremely varied nature. The yard of the old Arola farm is a traditional biotope which conceals many kinds of buzzing and humming. Behind the timber house, a forest of old pine trees stretches up towards the sky, bordering the sparkling lake Junnojärvi. This is place where groups of children, families and nature lovers can learn and find the answer to why nature should be protected,” says Pepe Forsberg, Managing Director of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation.
Decisions regarding the rules and more detailed usage of the Children’s Forest will be made during the spring 2022. The forest could be a meeting place for scouts, school groups, and other similar gatherings. Work on the main building and yard of Arola is planned to be carried out by volunteers in the summer 2022.
“The Children’s Forest is a strategic conservation area for the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation, where we will promote sustainable hiking. The area is suited for day trips, canoeing and berry picking, for example. In terms of the Finnish relation to nature and spreading information about the etiquette of hiking and camping, we see this place as an important piece of the puzzle,” Pepe Forsberg continues.
“Children and nature are central themes for the Foundation of August Ludvig Hartwall. Combining these two in the Children’s Forest project feels very natural, fun, and important. We consider the project an everlasting investment in Finnish nature, as well as a pleasant way of teaching children more about forests,” says Camilla Hartwall, a board member of the Foundation of August Ludvig Hartwall.
In future, the plan is to expand the Children’s Forest and rebuild some of the yard. Our fundraising campaign continues, and you can contribute in the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation’s online shop or by making a donation by bank transfer into the Foundation’s bank account FI78 5494 0950 0224 93 with the reference number 202109.
(Photo: Ari-Pekka Auvinen)