The Friendship Park and the Friendship Nature Reserve
Friendship Park is a network of nature conservation areas established in the Kuhmo and Suomussalmi region. It has five Nature Reserves, each independently presented in this site. On Via Karelia, the Friendship Park/Ystävyyden puisto signs take you to the Kuhmo Visitor Centre Petola. Being a network of nature reserves, there isn’t one called the Friendship Park specifically.
The network promotes co-operation between Finland and Russia in nature conservation. The Finnish areas are Ulvinsalo Strict Nature Reserve, Juortanansalo – Lapinsuo Mire Reserve, and Nature Reserves in Elimyssalo, Lentua and Iso-Palonen – Maariansärkät. The Russian partners have establihed Kostomuksha Strict Nature Reserve in 1983 (zapovednik). This nature reserve in Kostamus is 47,500ha in size. The area of the Finnish nature reserves in the network is approx. 25,000ha.
The combined network in Finland and Russia is called the Friendship Nature Reserve. The cooperation is based on a treaty signed by the Presidents of Finland and the Soviet Union in 1989 and the Act and Decree on the Friendship Park in 1990.
The stipulated research associated with the Friendship Park is coordinated by the Friendship Park Research Centre. The Centre is in Petola, Kuhmo.
Kuhmo Visitor Centre Petola