The Harakka Island off the Kaivopuisto Park shoreline organizes 4-hour-long island adventures free of charge for Helsinki daycare centres from May through September. The adventures focus on nature in the archipelago and the Baltic Sea. Daycare centres are informed about registration times and dates in the beginning of April. Special excursions, EUR 120 - 200 per 2 hours.
Harakka Nature School
Nature exploration days are targeted especially at comprehensive-school 4th to 7th graders. The days are 4–5 hours long. During the morning hours, pupils move around the island working on assignments and making observations in nature. A packed lunch is consumed at noon. During the afternoon hours, the pupils examine their findings in more detail, and at the end of the day they compile their observations and experiences.
Some of the main themes at the end of a nature exploration day when the day’s content is summarized include the state of the Gulf of Finland, the interaction of humankind and nature, renewable energy, energy saving and the impact of human activity on the state of the sea.
Nature exploration days (general upper secondary schools + 9th grade):
Do you wish to explore with your class what an oil spill disaster really means – to obtain information on the Baltic Sea and air quality, or to learn about soil conditions?
These nature exploration days are intended for comprehensive-school 9th graders and general upper secondary schools. The days are 2–7 hours long, and they are customized according to group wishes.
On a water exploration day, students take seawater samples and study them at Harakka’s historical chemical laboratory. Interpretation of the results helps students to understand the impact of their lifestyles and consumption of various chemical products on the Baltic Sea.
A Baltic Sea–themed exploration package focuses on the potential risks introduced by increased sea transport. A small-scale oil spill disaster is simulated at the laboratory including an effort to retrieve the spilled oil from the sea. The second theme of the day is plastic waste in the sea. On air exploration days (minimum two days) students place passive air-quality monitoring devices in the grounds to take air samples and study the samples at the Harakka laboratory. To conclude the days, students discuss the impact of their choices on air quality.
On the soil exploration day, students study soil samples taken by themselves to learn about soil qualities including acidity. At the same time, the students review mechanisms that affect soil qualities. At the end of the course, students can visit a site where contaminated soil is remediated.
The three alternative routes of environmental study – soil, water and air – focus on tasks related to soil, water and air chemistry as well as the impact of human activity on the three.
A fair is charged for the boat ride to Harakka, but the instruction is free of charge to school classes.
Network of schools that have accepted the Baltic Sea Challenge
Accept the challenge! The Baltic Sea needs your exact school to find out about the state of the Baltic Sea and what your school can do for the sea. More information is available from Asta Ekman, tel. 09 310 31577, e-mail: email@example.com.
Book a customized guided tour of Harakka for your group! You can have a personal guide for an island adventure, to the renewable-energy trail or for an excursion to nature. Contact information of guides is available from the City of Helsinki Environment Centre. You can agree on the time and date and the theme of your excursion directly with your guide. The guides charge EUR 120 - 260 for a 2-hour excursion. More information is available from Margit Jensen, tel. 09 310 31535 and from the Harakka Nature Centre tel. 09 310 32028 (May–September).
Explore on your own
Harakka invites groups to explore the island on their own. All exhibition spaces and aquariums of the Nature Centre can be freely accessed by groups. A nature trail snakes through the island in summer and winter. The trail is marked with nature-trail and information boards.
There is a bird watching point at the edge of the bird protection area, complete with pictures of the birds nesting on the island. A renewable-energy trail displays small-scale renewable energy devices.
We urge groups to contact us before organizing excursions to the island, tel. 09 310 32028, 09 310 31535.