Published 24.9.2021

New exhibition brings nature closer to public in Lapland

The updated exhibition at the Urho Kekkonen National Park service point Kiehinen brings nature closer to people through digital content. Short videos help you dive to the bottom of the river to get to know the life of a freshwater pearl mussel or visit a reindeer round-up site. The experience becomes all the more vivid through the included audio.

Kiehinen’s exhibition makes Urho Kekkonen National Park a part of an international chain of protected areas. Finland’s most majestic fell area is dominated by a vast landscape of round fells that are some of the last wilderness areas in Western Europe and worth protecting. The wilderness does not end at the border but continues far to the Russian side.

– Digitalisation provides a lot of opportunities to tell stories of the northern nature and to bring up topical issues about Lapland’s nature and its change in a vivid manner, says Planner Kristiina Aikio. A large 85” touch screen and a smaller screen meant for children have now been added to the exhibition. Images and videos have been added to the diverse offering of the exhibition and allow you to see and experience more at once.

Visitors can browse video and photo content themselves. At best, visitors can feel like they are on a ski trip, feel the chill of a winter wind on their faces, or travel over the border to Russia to Khibiny National Park. The touch screen in Kiehinen’s “wilderness hut” provides information for hikers and on the establishment of the national park as well as a fun game that lets you identify animal tracks. The games are specifically aimed at children but people of all ages can test their knowledge of tracks and droppings. The exhibition is free of charge for both tourists and tourism entrepreneurs.

Konsta Verta, who produced the audiovisual material and studies audio design at Aalto University, says that the exhibition’s images and sounds originate from local landscapes in the Urho Kekkonen National Park and its surroundings. The changing of the seasons constantly creates new things to see and experience which makes walking in nature and recording it interesting.

The reform of the Kiehinen exhibition is part of the international PAN – Phenomena of Arctic Nature project which produces new information about nature and services for the use of nature tourism. Exhibitions will also be reformed in other parts of the project: in Finland in Salla Reindeer Park, in Norway in the Gjøken service point in Øvre Pasvik National Park and in Russia in the Pasvik State Nature Reserve’s nature centre Nikel as well as the Apatity service point of Institute of North Industrial Ecology Problems (INEP) whose exhibition showcases Khibiny National Park.

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