Dodo, Finland

Dodo ry. is a Finnish environmental organisation set up in Helsinki in 1995 by urban activists searching for ways to make their city a cleaner, greener, more fun and inclusive place to live. With its flexible and open ethos, a group of people, diverse in age and social background, have all been able to join in, exchange experience and contribute to Dodo's activities.

Dodo groups have also formed in 3 other major cities: Tampere, Turku and Oulu. Within Dodo are a number of groups focusing on different areas of activity. One of these is Dodo's Urban Gardeners.The core group of Dodo’s Urban Gardeners is 25 people, with 800 yearly participants in projects, activities and events. The organisation has won a number of awards for its efforts in promoting active citizenship and sustainable living.

The activities of Dodo's Urban Gardeners include: managing two areas of small urban garden plots that citizens can rent, facilitating the set up of community gardens, conducting and arranging urban foraging tours, food festivals, workshops, discussions, visits to schools, lectures and peer to peer learning through volunteer participation. Dodo members have also set up urban food growing tutorials and provided urban food growing kits for apartment block gardens with a printed instruction manual.

The organisation has the infrastructure to support an even wider range of workshops that can reach further into the parts of society that might require assistance or support in getting involved. Kääntöpöytä, Dodo's Urban Gardeners' greenhouse headquarters,is based in Pasila - an area of Helsinki with a higher than average proportion of marginalised residents who could benefit from opportunities for community involvement. Through involvement in this project, Dodo's Urban Gardeners can learn more about outreach approaches from the other partners whilst, in exchange, being able to offer their solid grounding in what is needed for setting up the workshops themselves, as well as their professional approach to creating online and printed teaching materials.

Role in the project

  • Inspirer, transferer and provider of knowledge and exchanger of experience how to start and develop range of urban gardening projects and activities
  • Organizer of workshops and consultant for developing adult trainers and learners skills related to urban gardening education activities
  • Provider of informal structural ideas and an action-based approach to teaching adults urban gardening

Link to website