The Finnish allotment Federation (Suomen Siirtolapuutarhaliitto) was co-organisor of a seminar entitled "Invasive Alien Species in the Garden", arranged in the Think Corner at the University of Helsinki on April 9th 2019. The seminar was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
In the seminar highly respected specialists covered many aspects of the title subject: legislation, plant pests and diseases, plants, bugs, soil and climate change. The seminar also included a call for observations on Spanish slug and the attendants were given advice on how to identify and do away with Persian Hogweed (Heracleum persicum) and Impatiens glandulifera. Furthermore, the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation presented their project VieKas LIFE, which aims at widespread mapping and prevention of invasive alien species as well as increasing the common awareness.
About 80 people attended the seminar which was also streamed live. The streaming video is published on the Helsinki University video channel and the Finnish Federation has edited the streaming into separate clips by subject and speaker. These are published on the federation's YouTube-channel.
The Federation of Finnish Allotment Gardens held its four-yearly Congress in Tampere 5th-6th August 2017.
One of the congress delegates and continuing member of the Executive Board, Ms. Marjukka Metsola from the northernmost allotment garden in the world in Rovaniemi, summarised the Congress on the Finnish Federation's Facebook-page: "Lively discussions, several views. Finally we made the important desicions. Democracy works!"
Mr. Pertti Laitila re-elected as President
The Congress unanimously re-elected Mr. Pertti Laitila as President of the Finnish Federation.
Pertti was elected President in the previous Congress in Forssa in 2013. Before that he had been a member of the Executive Board in 2010-2013. Pertti is an experienced allotment gardener. He has been a member of the association Nekalan Siirtolapuutarhayhdistys in Tampere since 1995 and actively taken part in the administration of the association since 1996.
The Executive Board
The newly elected Executive Board represents 37 % of the Federation's member associations and the geographical representativeness is excellent.
The first meeting of the new Executive Board will take place on September 5th. In that meeting the Board will appoint the two new Vice-Presidents, the new Management Committee and various working groups.
Two new Honorary Members
The Congress called two new Honorary Members:
Leena Heino from Tampere is the Honorary President of her association Litukan Siirtolapuutarhayhdistys. She has been working for the improvement of allotment gardening in her own association, on a regional basis and also nationwide.
Liisa Vasama from Helsinki was the President of the Finnish Federation in 2001-2009. During her presidency Liisa actively improved the Federation and many allotment gardeners remember her sympathetic editorials in the Federation's magazine. Liisa Vasama is also highly respected internationally.
In Finland the year 2016 has been a Green Year, appointed by the Ministry of the Environment. The aim of the year was to stimulate individuals, communities, organizations and companies to work for a better and more comfortable living environment. The theme of the year was 'My landscape in the countryside and in the city'. This was the fifth Green Year – the previous have been arranged in 1985, 1995, 2000 and 2008.
The closing event of the Green Year was arranged October 27th 2016 in the prestigious House of the Estates in Helsinki. During the event there was a ceremony, where 26 individuals, organizations and companies were awarded with a Green Year Medal. One of the awarded was The Finnish Federation for Allotment Gardeners. The Federation received the medal for "its meritorious work for an environment important, healthy and comfortable for everyone". The medal was received by President Pertti Laitila and Administrator Tina Wessman of the Finnish Federation.