The benches in the Kirjailijanpuisto “Writer’s Park” were renewed in spring 2010. The new benches were donated by friends of the association of bookstore professionals Libro ry. Each bench was sponsored by one donator and has a brass plaque inscribed with a poem or aphorism and the logo of the donator.
The story of the Writer’s Park begins in 2006, when Libro celebrated its 100th anniversary. To mark its centenary, the association wanted something more lasting and enduring than just a celebration.
More than a year before the centenary year the chairperson of Libro, Leila Kettunen, began enquiring about the possibility of planting a tree in one of Helsinki’s park. Leila approached the Public Works Department, which proposed Kirjailijanpuisto park and the planting of a new decorative apple tree of the species “Malus Kirjailija”, the original versions of which were planted in Kirjailijanpuisto park. What could be more suitable for an association of bookstore professionals than a species that is named for writers! However, since plaques should not be attached to trees or their roots, the idea arose of new benches. The park was due for a renovation in coming years anyway, so Libro’s proposal presented a splendid co-operation opportunity.
Leila Kettunen began spreading the word about this project and enquiring whether other actors in the publishing industry would be interested in participating in this unique project. She was supported by the managing director of the Finnish Book Publishers’ Association, Katriina Jaakkola, who also helped arranged the unveiling of the new benches.
Ultimately 12 main sponsors were attracted to the project, resulting in 12 new park benches painted in Helsinki green and in the “Kaivopuisto” style. The benches were made at the Stara carpenters’ workshop. The benches were unveiled on 24 August 2010 and can now be enjoyed by all members of the public.