Generational forest with thousand planters

The Luonnonvarakeskus (Luke) research park in Punkaharju is currently being planted with a celebratory forest for Finland's centenary. The first seedlings for the "Generations Forest" were planted on Monday, August 21. Planting work will continue throughout the week.

The celebratory forest will be planted with three of Finland's most important forestry trees: pine, spruce, and silver birch, as well as Siberian and European larches. For pine and birch, selected seed cultivation origins are used, while for spruce, cell-grown, highly refined seedlings from Punkaharju are used. The seedlings of Siberian and European larches are sourced from the seed origins of Punkaharju's research forests.

"By using different tree species, we highlight the area's strong forest history and forest research aimed at the future.The 'Generations Forest'is also a testbed for future forest cultivation materials," says Luke's senior researcher Teijo Nikkanen.

The celebratory forest is being established with the help of influencers, partners, and schoolchildren.

The planting of the Generations Forest was initiated by Ministers Jari Leppä and Kimmo Tiilikainen, who planted spruce seedlings. Photo: Timo Kilpeläinen, Lusto.

The planting was initiated on August 21 by the Center Party parliamentary group, led by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä and Minister of Housing, Energy, and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen .

On Tuesday, August 22, employees from the event organizers (Luke, Finnish Forest Museum Lusto, Metsähallitus, University of Eastern Finland, and Saimaan Metsänhoitajat) in Savonlinna will take part. On Wednesday and Thursday, nearly 600 schoolchildren will plant their own celebratory trees under the guidance of forestry professionals. On Friday, August 25, partners and representatives of stakeholders will continue planting seedlings, with around 70 people participating.

Planting will continue in September, when all teacher education students starting in Savonlinna will plant their own memorial trees. Additionally, various organizations such as the Metsähistorian Seura (Finnish Forest History Society), veterans of our wars from the Savonlinna region, and Södra skogsägarna from Sweden have reserved their own planting plots.

A Tribute to 100-year-old Finland

The planting of the Generations Forest is an event of the Finland 100 program. Planting the forest aims to emphasize the importance of forests for Finland, Finnishness, and the well-being of Finns, as well as to highlight the significance of intergenerational interaction and knowledge sharing in the development of independent Finland.

"Planting a forest offers participants a personal experience of participation in the chain of history and generations, as well as in the transfer of knowledge and tradition," says the project coordinator from the . University of Eastern Finland.

The planting event is part of the Saimaan Metsänhoitajat's project "Cultural Forest Resources from Generation to Generation," funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation's South Savo Fund. The project partners include Metsähallitus, Finnish Forest Museum Lusto, University of Eastern Finland's Savonlinna Teacher Education, and Luke's Punkaharju office. The project examines forest culture in the Saimaa region from the perspectives of forestry science, education, and historical research.

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