A bench by a lake

Finland provides state support for the development of local recreation areas

Finland provides state support for the development of local recreation areas

The Uusimaa ELY Centre has granted EUR 9.6 million to Finnish municipalities for the improvement of nature sites

Throughout the past year, our interests and hobbies were forced to change. Once governments around the world announced the closures of restaurants, bars, shopping centres, cultural venues and gyms, people rediscovered nature.

At first, many of us began to visit parks and forests simply because there was nothing else that we could do. A year later however, most of us have grown to love the peace and serenity that can be found in nature.

Grants for the development of local recreation areas

Seeing that there has been a significant rise in the number of people who visit nature sites, the Finnish Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (Uusimaa ELY) agreed to grant EUR 9.6 million to municipalities for the upgrade and development of their local recreation areas.

According to the Ministry of the Environment, grants were awarded for 215 projects which are due to be completed this year. In the autumn of last year, applications were carried out and more than 250 applicants showed their interest in the government’s support.

Senior Inspector Tommi Hautala from the Uusimaa ELY centre expressed his surprise and delight at this interest as he noted: “Although we knew that there was a demand for this kind of support in the municipalities, the large number of applications managed to surprise us. We are very satisfied with the average quality of the projects and the municipalities' rapid implementation.”

The purpose of the grants is to ensure that people’s needs and demands are fulfilled when they go outside during these challenging times. More specifically, the grants have been awarded for the improvement and rehabilitation of signs, bird towers, nature trails, beach structures, sheds, campfire sites and frisbee golf courses.

The Minister for the Environment and Climate Krista Mikkonen commented on the importance of nature as she noted that it has been especially prized during the past year. What is more, Mikkonen highlighted that by supporting the municipalities’ projects, the government ensures that nature sites become more accessible while nature remains protected.



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