Asiantuntijana videolla Risto Järvisalo. Kuvaaja: Hiski Hämäläinen/Dominus Oy










Finlands first dog pet Musti is from Saimaa Geopark`s area

Saimaa Geopark and the Rural Explorer project have good cooperation by combining geology and cultural heritage. Saimaa Geopark has provided stories collected by geologist Aimo Kejonen. In addition, the Rural Explorer project has collected story materials from archives, interviews and previous publications. The material has been transformed into text stories written by Pekka Vartiainen, and texts are transferred to videos, animations, cartoons, photographs and songs by various authors.

The latest example of the collaboration is a five-minute video combining expert knowledge and story of Kuurmanpohja-Saarenoja’s Stone Age residence. This area of ​​Geopark’s natural and cultural sites began to inhabit the Saimaa area almost 11,000 years ago. Destination provides a powerful insight into the human history of the area and gives an idea of ​​the conditions under which the ancestors and, as archaeological findings show, their pet dog lived. Risto Järvisalo has been the leading expert on the ancient fishing culture of the video.

Kuurmanpohja-Saarenoja has a lot of potential as a tourist destination.

See Rural Explorer – projects video in english here

“Ancient habits and prehistory interest people, but the special nature of the site does not really open up. The video, designed by Juha Iso-Aho and filmed and cut by Hiski Hämäläinen, will bring the place to live”, says Heli Rautanen, Executive Director of Saimaa Geopark ry.

Through story-telling, other Geopark sites have come to life also.  Geosite Kummakivi in Ruokolahti municipality has inspired a story that is both timeless and evocative. A snapshot of the encounter between artist and painter Albert Edelfelt and Elli Jäppinen creates a vivid backdrop for a well-known painting of the Era of Ruokolahti on a church hill. Church hill is also one of the Geosites. This story is gaining new expression as a song written by Tuija Rantalainen. The triple rock fungus rock painting is again enlivened by the imagination of what people could experience on the spot at the time of the painting’s birth.

The story of Nuijamaa’s Ringstone raises a Geosite unknown to the general public by means of cartoon animation, the name of which is also explained in the animation. One of Finland’s biggest boulders deserves to be known more widely through the story. Geosite Karhusaari, located off Lappeenranta, is also a geo-destination that has its own story about the island’s already lost dance floor activities.

The resulting cooperation is a perfect example of real synergies. Saimaa Geopark has received excellent co-operative material that combines the geological and cultural heritage of the sites. In addition, the output of the project is available to companies. All materials produced by Rural Explorer will also be available in English. Saimaa Geopark hopes that the stories will be used by entrepreneurs in the area to provide program services to residents and tourists of the area. In addition, self-guided tourists and tourists can be inspired by local tourism and exploration of the area.

Outputs from South Karelia, a joint project of Humak and the LAB University of Applied Sciences in Southeast Finland, are available on the Saimaa Geopark website in conjunction with geographic sites, the Outdoor Nature platform, and the YouTube channel and Facebook page for the Rural Explorer project. Finally, the project will be published in spring 2020, both in print and in electronic form.

The Rural Explorer project is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development / ELY Center for South East Finland.