03 May 2019 World Urban Parks - World Parks Week interview We're running a series of articles throughout the World Urban Parks World Parks week (April 27 to May 4 - 2019) to celebrate a Green Flag Award park from many of the countries that we operate in. Green Flag Award park name Hatanpää Mansion Park and Arboretum, Tampere Interviewee Timo Koski, City Gardener How many years have you held the Green Flag Award? 1 year Let’s start by getting to know your park or green space with a brief introduction Hatanpää Mansion Park and Arboretum is one of the most remarkable park area in Tampere region. The park has been established before the city itself. It is known that the first trees were planted 1773 by Kustaa III, King of Sweden, and 1758 Henrik Boije established the Hatanpää Mansion Park It is also listed as a cultural heritage by National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments and Environmental Ministry. The Rose Garden with nearly 200 different kind of roses has been established in the 1970’s on the same time like Arboretum.There are many rare plant species in Arboretum and the herbarium itself is very unique in Finland. Total area is about 15 hectares. The people who use our spaces are what brings them to life. Tell us a little bit about your regular visitors and any particular groups or organisations you work with. The regular visitors are the people who live near by. But also the park is well known by all the people in Tampere. Its also very famous place to visit by groups interested by horticultural and its well know also for educational groups and schools. We do co-operation with some different societies. Parks and green spaces are constantly evolving. Tell us about any developments or changes that you are working on over the coming year? This year we are planning to make our park seen better and plan to give better information to come our park and also in the park. for bigger investments we have to wait new coming city plan to be finished. By this plan we get more area to the park and we can also improve the incoming ways to the park. so we are very trustful to make this park better. We’re asking everyone to share their passion for the parks and green spaces during World Parks Week. What key message would you like to give about the importance of parks and green spaces? Now and especially in the future the parks should be the hearts and lungs in the cities. By parks we can give better life quality for everybody in the cities and also take care our environmental and biodiversity issues. We must have parks for everybody and parks should be easy to access and near to everybody. By parks we can also unite the green and blue belts in the cities. And finally, what does having a Green Flag Award mean to you as a professional and also to the community that use your park or green space? It has be very good first year to have the Green Flag Award in our park. It has opened our eyes in a different way. It was very instructive to have some others professional peoples evaluation on our park. That because without bench-marking you get blind in the work you do. Further information: You can view Hatanpää Mansion Park's Green Flag Award profile page here and click through to the official parks page to find out more.