Nature House Villa Elfvik – 30 years of environmental education and sustainable lifestyles
Nature House Villa Elfvik and its surrounding nature reserves are one of the most popular nature destinations in Espoo. In addition to being a beautiful recreational site for random visitors, the Nature House has been providing goal-oriented environmental education for 30 years now.
Support for sustainable development education
Nature House Villa Elfvik opened its doors on 5 June 1992 and has been providing support in sustainable development education to other operators in Espoo throughout its operation. This support includes the organisation of nature school days for classes from Espoo’s schools, which strengthen the learners’ relationship with nature. In addition to this, the Nature House organises public nature excursions for people of all ages, from school-aged children to adults.
“We organise events supporting sustainable lifestyles in collaboration with other operators. Anyone visiting the Nature House can learn about its sustainable everyday operations via the Sustainable Lifestyle Path,” says the Director of the Nature House Riitta Pulkkinen. For school classes, the Nature House also has a narrative and activity-based learning material package entitled The Mystery of the Sustainable Lifestyle Path.
For teachers and other educators, the Nature House organises continuing education courses in environmental education that provide tips for teaching in nature and sustainable lifestyle education. Nature House Villa Elfvik is a LYKE development centre certified by the Finnish Association of Nature and Environment Schools.
Nature excursions during the anniversary week 5–12 June 2022
Finnish nature is at its most beautiful in early June, making it the perfect time for nature excursions celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Nature House. New excursions include a Botanical Excursion for schoolchildren on 7 June at 18:00 and an activity-based family excursion entitled On the Trail of the Siberian Flying Squirrel on 11 June at 12:00. The Botanical Excursion gives schoolchildren and their parents an opportunity to compile a digital herbarium, while the Siberian flying squirrel excursion introduces participants to a new nature trail.
The anniversary week will also coincide with the start of the traditional summer Sunday family excursions: Villa Elfvik Fairy School on 5 June and A Bug or a Spider? bug trip on 12 June. On 8 June, Villa Elfvikin ystävät ry is organising an Early Summer Bird Night, which is the only event of the week subject to a charge. The paid event will be preceded by a public, free-of-charge Children’s Nature Excursion at 17:30.
Those embarking on self-directed nature excursions can make use of the new Elfvikin local nature game, which you can play on your own mobile device via the free-of-charge Actionbound application. The game involves following a nature trail while completing various tasks.
The language of the nature excursions and local nature game is Finnish.
Exhibition exploring the diverse nature of Espoo renewed
Those visiting the Nature House can also learn about the diverse flora and fauna of Espoo via the permanent exhibition Long Live Espoo. The exhibition was recently renewed to make it more activity-oriented and now asks visitors to also reflect on how their own choices impact the environment. The Nature House is currently also hosting the temporary exhibition Amazing Spiders – Photos by Sami Karjalainen.
Nature House Villa Elfvik is open Mon–Fri 9:00–16:00 and Sat–Sun 10:00–16:00. Café Elfvik is open at weekends during the Nature House’s opening hours. Admission to the Nature House and its events is free of charge.