Photo:
Silvia Luik

The main theme of the Nature Festival from 7-11 June is "The Garden of Life"

The ninth annual Nature Festival focuses on the beauty and wildlife of gardens. It will take place from 7 to 11 June. 

The Nature Festival invites people to appreciate the diversity of urban nature as a habitat, to notice nature in the city and to promote behaviours that promote biodiversity. This year, the focus is on the beauty and wildlife of gardens for five days, with events across Estonia. 

Kaarin Hein, project manager of the Nature Festival, hopes that the festival's choice of themes will help to highlight the uniqueness of each garden. "It doesn't matter how big the garden is, because the value of a garden can be something else: a garden can be our nourishment or a source of beauty, but also a place where nature is preserved," explains Hein. "The garden and related themes have been consistently important at previous festivals - our long-standing partners have included the Tallinn Zoo, Tallinn Botanical Garden, Pernova Nature House, Räpina Garden School, Tartu Environmental Education Centre, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu Public Gardens, Emajõgi Garden and Tartu Organic Garden." 

The 2023 Nature Festival will focus on both public and private gardens and the treasures they hold, especially natural biodiversity. Traditionally, the Nature Festival is accompanied by the Wild City urban nature photography competition from 27 March to 7 May and the Nature Observation Marathon from 10 to 11 June. "It's a great opportunity to get to know your garden better and thereby contribute to science," Hein said. In addition, there are many educational and nature-related events taking place all over Estonia. 

This year's Nature Festival coincides with the celebrations of the 220th anniversary of the University of Tartu Botanical Garden. "The theme of this year's Nature Festival, 'The Garden of Life', is dedicated to Estonia's most species-rich garden, the University of Tartu Botanical Garden, which celebrates its 220th anniversary this year," said Margus Kasterpalu, the curator of the Nature Festival programme. 

The main organiser of the festival is the University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden, and the events are organised by partners all over Estonia. The Nature Festival has been organised since 2015. Initially focused on Tartu, the programme of events has developed into a nationwide programme within a few years. The Nature Festival is part of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 programme. It is supported by the Environmental Investment Centre and Tartu 2024 Foundation. 

An information meeting for event organisers will be held on 6 February at 10.00 at the University of Tartu Natural History Museum, and it is also possible to participate online. The meeting will be held in Estonian. "At the meeting, we will introduce the Nature Festival team, talk about the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 project, the nature marathon and other topics related to the upcoming festival," said Hein. To attend the information meeting, please pre-register using this link. We welcome all co-organisers who have participated in previous years and welcome new partners. Please also fill in the form if you are unable to attend but would like to keep up to date with information about the Festival. 

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