The Movable Bilberry Pad brings a taste of the Finnish forest to the city, with edible berries to pick! The Pad consists of fresh heath forest floor transplanted into movable planter modules. The Bilberry Pad can bring enjoyment and multisensory nature experiences to people who cannot access a forest.
The array of plants in the Pad includes bilberries, lingonberries, crowberries, different ferns, mosses, bunch grass and spruce. They all add to the haptic experience: the pad can be seen, smelled, tasted and interacted with. Also fauna has found its way to the pad: birds, ants and long legged spiders bustle around the plants just like in a real forest.
The Pad modules are designed to be quite high for accessibility: the berry picking can be done sitting, standing or even lying in a bed. The small module size makes the modules easy to move and the modular system allows different layouts for every occasion. The Pad can also be moved indoors at a hospital or service center so that bedbound people can enjoy it too.
The first version of The Bilberry Pad was built for the Services for the Elderly in Kangasala, Finland. When the bilberries grew ripe at the beginning of August, Mieluisa organized a berry picking event for the residents of the Maijala Service Center. The event was a warm occasion with lots of discussions about old berry picking memories.
The Bilberry Pad project was funded by Kone Foundation and The Finnish Cultural Foundation. Also Messupuu and Piiraisen Viherpalvelu were essential for generously providing the Siberian larch for the containers and the bilberry heath transplant. New versions of the Bilberry Pad are on the way for 2018.