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Kokkolan kaupunginsalmi Sunti ja suihkulähteet
Photographer: Joni Virtanen

Parks and nature

Explore the green zones in Kokkola.

  • Our city has many beautiful and charming parks where everyone will find something to see and do – all year round.

    There are inviting sidewalks and cycleways on both sides of Sunti, the waterway passing through the city, which will take you all the way to the sea. Along the way, you will find the action-filled Brita Maria park and the neighbourhood sports area of Hollihaka. The Sunti shoreline is decorated with different light installations that bring joy to the darkening nights.

    The magnificent Meripuisto park is located in the best spot in the whole of Kokkola, right by the sea. On the other side of Sunti, a seaside boulevard known as “rantaraitti” stretches out, dotted with the idyllic boathouses of Halkokari. Rantaraitti is one of the most popular outdoor areas in Kokkola.

  • One of the city’s roles is to serve as a landowner. The city owns agricultural land, forests, zoned green areas and other areas designated for different purposes. The reasons for the city owning land and forests are, for example, the need for construction sites and exchange land, protection of groundwater areas, and securing the existence and creation of recreational areas and related opportunities. Moreover, the forests have economic significance for the city. Every year, the city gains income from timber sales.

    Of all the city-owned forests, about 25 per cent are designated for recreational purposes. The city encourages its residents to use the forests recreationally, such as for picking berries and mushrooms, hiking, exercising and mountain biking. The recreational forests and areas also have sites and areas reserved for different forms of exercise. The city aims at ensuring in its local plans that all suburban areas have city-owned forest areas for recreational use within a reasonable distance.

    As recreational environments, the city-owned forests are open to all. While spending time in nature, you should always remember your responsibility for the environment and for other people. Keep in mind that the land is owned by someone else and respect it. It does not matter whether the owner is a private person, a company, a city, the government or some other party – the same property rights still apply.

    Under the Finnish everyman’s rights, you can move freely in nature on foot, skis, bicycle or on horseback. You can pick berries and mushrooms freely and spend a night in the terrain, provided that the stay is temporary and short-term. The precondition for all these rights is that your activities do not cause any damage or harm.

    The city aims to engage in active forest management in order to maintain the diversity of the forests and their ability to grow and renew. Particular emphasis is placed on intermediate felling and forest management tasks. The forest management strategy and principles of Kokkola were last updated by the City Board at the start of the 21st century. The key principle is to uphold economic, social and ecological sustainability.

  • By the decision of the Ministry of the Environment made on 3 July 2020, a national city park was established in Kokkola. The aim of national city parks is to preserve the urban nature and built cultural environment as an extensive, consistent entity. The city parks provide the locals with a common living room and are a part of sustainable urban planning and construction.

    The national city park of Kokkola covers an area of almost 20,000 hectares, and it includes everything from diverse seashore nature in land uplift coasts to traditional wood building heritage from several centuries.