Urban brook comes back to life with a prize

Apart from water wildlife, some mammals and rare bird species have returned to the 6km stretch of Malmi waterway.

Volunteers at the Longinoja brook project / Credit: Longinoja

Volunteers who spent 15 years bringing an urban brook back to life, have won an environmental prize after attracting endangered species to the waters.

Dozens of volunteers gave up their spare time to work on revitalizing Longinoja brook in Malmi over the last decade-and-a-half, turning it into a viable breeding ground for endangered sea trout.

The prize is awarded by the member organisations of the oldest global environmental organisation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN, and awarded the Longinoja the biodiversity prize for 2017-2018.

“Thanks to the restoration work, the brook has now revived and large numbers of threatened sea trout come again to spawn in Longinoja brook” says Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre) Minister of the Environment.

“This kind of hands-on work is important for the conservation of species. The volunteer work has opened the eyes of many city dwellers to the importance of urban nature areas” says Tiilikainen.

The small army of volunteers have worked to bring 6km of river and riverbank back to life, and apart from the trout other species like flying squirrels and rare birds have now returned to the area.

The winning project doesn’t receive a cash prize, but instead will get a fish-themed painting from Finnish artist Sakke Yrjölä.