Learn and participate

Kuopio’s rich and diverse environment offers many possibilities for nature hobbies. Everyone can learn more about their own local environment and participate in preserving the biodiversity in their own way. Are you looking for lively activities for the benefit of nature? Are you looking for expert services relating to plants, mushrooms, birds and butterflies? Or are you looking for a school or kindergarten specializing in environmental education for your child?

Guided nature hikes

In the summer, many guided nature hikes are organized in Kuopio. The excursions of environmental protection services and Kuopio Natural History Museum are available to everyone and are mostly free of charge.  On hikes both the nearby forests and the lesser known nature sites will become familiar. At the same time, you can get information about the nature-related expert services provided by the city.  The themes range from mysterious bats to wild food plants and flying squirrel life. Some excursions are especially for families with children or many special groups. Dates and trip information are announced annually in the paper brochure published in April-May and on the city's website.

Nature information available

There are nature exhibitions at the Kuopio Museum. The permanent exhibition covers Eastern Finnish nature for the whole year. The temporary exhibitions familiarize you with topical nature themes. There are also guided tours in exhibitions, functional workshops and lectures held by experts. Kuopio Museum is a great place for the whole family to visit!

Puijo’s nature is presented on a small scale at the information centre at the Konttila’s granary. There is free access to Konttila and it is pleasant to continue the trip to Puijo’s authentic nature. Kuopio’s nature is also presented on guided nature trails around the city.

Did you find an interesting plant or strange mushroom? You may ask experts of Kuopio Natural History Museum to help with the species identifying problems.

Environmental awareness in schools and kindergartens

Environmental education in its various forms is an integral part of Kuopio's school and day care centers. The Green Flag schools and kindergartens emphasise sustainable development and the voluntary participation of children and young people. The Green Flag Programme currently includes Kelloniemi and the Paimenpoika kindergartens. The primary schools Aurinkorinteen koulu and the Nilsiän yhteiskoulu are Green Flag Schools. The Green Flag is a part of international Eco-Schools –programme.

Few forest preschools groups have used nature education methods. The first forest preschool is located in Kuopio's Länsi-Puijo Daycare Center. At the forest preschool days are mainly spent outdoors, in the nearby surroundings playing and moving. The aim of the forest preschool is that the child learns to respect nature and their own environment.

There are also a number of secondary education institutions in Kuopio, which have been awarded a certificate of sustainability from the Foundation of Teaching, Education and Training sectors (OKKA Foundation).