The permanent exhibition in the Nature House Villa Elfvik has been modernised and revamped to provide more information on the nature surrounding the Nature House. Visitors’ wishes were also considered in the reform. The Long Live Espoo exhibition encourages people to go out into nature and act for the benefit of nature.
The Long Live Espoo exhibition has been introducing visitors of all ages to the special characteristics of Espoo’s nature since 1992. The annual number of visitors has been approximately 30,000 since the beginning. This was the second reform of the exhibition. The opening of the reformed exhibition was held on 11 December 2019.
Riitta Pulkkinen, Head of the Nature House, describes the goals and implementation of the reform: “Our goals were informational and activity-based. We have modernised the informational content of the exhibition. We have concretised and visualised information using modern means of representation. Most of the maps used in the exhibition have been replaced as well. Interactivity of the exhibition has been enhanced, and worn structures and parts have been repaired. Accessibility has been improved, too.”
How does the reform translate into practice?
The large panels describing the area of Elfvik and its groves, landscape history, forests, aquatic treasures and brooks have been given a new look by means of photography collages. The new maps provide information on the locations of natural sites and occurrence of flying squirrels in Espoo.
Interactivity has been increased in many ways. You can explore the life stages of a deadwood by taking a peek through the doors. You can listen to the sounds of birds and explore plants in detail with tablet applications. You can look for suitable habitats for aquatic organisms on the map. You can also come up with little poems about nature using word magnets or create rock paintings with a piece of chalk.
The exhibition features new tactile sections. Try the feel of a forest or track the route of a trout from the sea to the gravel of a spawning brook with your finger. A three-spined stickleback, realised as a stuffed toy, has its nest underneath the Laajalahti pier, and you can feed it with larvae of non-biting midges.
Human activity included in the exhibition
There is a new feature in the exhibition – the human impact on nature. Visitors are encouraged to reflect on what they could personally do to combat the decline in biodiversity, such as prevent microplastics from entering into water systems. Visitors may hang signs featuring their good deeds in many places in the exhibition.
A new section on the stone balcony also prompts visitors to take action; they can take a photo of themselves with the animal they would like to build a nest for. The balcony also features information on what kind of nests are suitable for animals.
Finally, the exhibition tells about what kind of challenges the growth of the city sets for its nature. Luckily, solutions to the challenges are available, but nature will remain under constant pressure.
Visitors and experts engaged in the reform
The reform of the Long Live Espoo exhibition was launched in spring 2016 with a customer survey. Visitors could provide their views on the best aspects of the exhibition and the parts that needed to be updated. Ideas for the renewal were developed at the Nature House, and the preparation of the exhibition plan was put to tender in two phases. The specific implementation plan was completed in late 2017, and the reform work was started in early 2018.
Vappu Ormio from Mosatonttu Oy was responsible for the practical implementation of the reform. The working group involved in setting up the new exhibition included text producer Riikka Kostiander, photographer Jarno Mela, lighting technician Jani Raatikainen, Kovakoodarit Oy, Björn Söderström, Ratamo Industrial Design, Kati Karttunen, Marika Rönnberg and a number of other professionals.
The translation services of the City of Espoo were primarily responsible for translations into Swedish and English. Hansaprint and Grano were the primary contributors of printed material.
Experts of the Nature House Villa Elfvik and the Espoo Environment Department were closely involved in the reform, providing information and commentary on the contents.
Riitta Pulkkinen, Head of the Nature House, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 43 826 5217