Strömberg Park is one of the gems of Pitäjänmäki and all of Helsinki. It was named after Gottfrid Strömberg, a pioneer in the Finnish electrical industry. The park is highly valuable, in terms of its natural values, as well as culturally and historically. It was once part of Tali Manor. The central element in the park is the Mätäjoki creek with its rapids and ponds offering a range of recreational opportunities. Numerous departments of the City of Helsinki were involved in the design of the park along with local communities, particularly the Pitäjänmäki Association.
The park is divided into two distinct sections. The creek runs through the western section of the park, which is very rich in trees and undergrowth. Steep banks separate the sheltered valley from the busy streets Pitäjänmäentie and Strömbergintie. The western edge of the valley section is bordered by a pedestrian and cycle path.
The eastern section of the park comprises a hill rising almost 30 metres above sea level. At the top of the hill is a radio mast, and the slopes are covered by a variety of trees with bare rock in places. Beneath the hill, excavated out of the rock, is a civil defence shelter with ramps for vehicles from Pitäjänmäentie and Strömbergintie. Strömberg Play Park is also in this section of the park.
The park is dominated by the prettiest rapids in Helsinki and the Mätäjoki creek, which has been widened to create a pleasant pond circled by wooden pathways. There is a wooden terrace near the small waterfall where one can sit and watch the rapids, and there is also a bridge right in front of the waterfall. This is a very popular part of the park. Stone steps lead up to the top of the waterfall, and you can cross the creek by hopping over the concrete slabs. In wintertime the waterfall partially freezes, each year creating a unique natural work of art. In 2000, to mark the city’s 450th anniversary, Helsingin Energia illuminated the waterfall.
The tunnel beneath Pitäjänmäentie is decorated with mosaic lizard patterns that were part of the Mätäjoki Art Project in 2001. An abundance of natural vegetation grows along the banks of the creek, including Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) and bulrush (Typha). On the upper western slope of the park there is a gazebo that was requested by local residents. The open lawns in the park can be used for sunbathing and playing games. On the very western edge of the park, a slightly scary narrow tunnel leads under Pitäjänmäentie to the Tali allotment gardens.
The park areas are separated from each other by the redbrick Kalevala Jewelry factory. Owned entirely by the Kalevala Women’s Association, the factory has 180 employees who make all the jewelry for Kalevala Koru Oy (Kalevala Jewelry), the largest maker of ancient jewelry in Northern Europe. The factory outlet sells jewelry at discount prices. The property once housed the archives and offices of the leading daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. Civil defence shelters have been built beneath the hill.
The key element in Strömberg Play Park is the old gatekeeper’s house for Tali Manor, which now serves the play park. The house was previously used as the residence of the city’s florist and nursery keeper. The play park also has a shed for storing toys and a clubhouse. There is a wide range of playground equipment for younger children next to the buildings, as well as play areas for older children outside the fenced area. One of the most popular attractions in the park is the rope slide. Two round amphitheatres have been made out of rocks by the radio mast atop the hill and are used for singing events. The smaller amphitheatre is close to a protected wartime shelter. There are fences to prevent children from falling in.
A wide variety of plants grow in the park. The flowering shrubs and trees create a pleasant environment for park users. There are eight species of Spiraea, as well as mock orange, junipers, mountain pines and vines, such as hydrangea, clematis and hops. In addition to domestic trees, the park also features crabapple trees, Virginia bird cherries, Sargent’s cherries, Paul’s Scarlet hawthorns and oaks.
Area 4 706 m2
Design Puutarhakonsultit Oy, 2002