Heinola is one of the eight Finnish cities which have been granted the Ministry of the Environment's National Urban Park designation. The town received the honour on May 6th, 2002. The park is full of wonderful opportunities for enjoying both unmanaged nature and well-kept gardens as well as sophisticated urban culture and delightful built environments.
The history of the Heinola National Urban Park dates back to 1779, which is when the grid-style town plan was drawn. The town plan was upgraded in 1785, when governor De Geer added the wide esplanade, Perspektiivi (nowadays known as Maaherranpuisto). Since then, parks have been an essential part of Heinola. The stories of many of Heinola's parks begin in the 1800's.
Forests, lakes and rivers form a large and impressively diverse part of Heinola. The Bird Sanctuary and the many cottages lining the shores show how much the people of Heinola value nature.
The National Urban Park includes many historical buildings from different eras. These days, these buildings are still in use for the production of new cultural events.
Traffic is also a part of the park landscape. The old Savo "highway" went through Heinola, and these days, the railway bridge and the station park with its residential buildings are some of the highlights of the traffic ways of Heinola.