The Sapokanlahti bay protrudes from the sea, forming a marine cove in Kotkansaari. The Sapokka Water Garden has become an important place for local residents and tourists at all times of the year. Renovation of the park commenced in 1990. Four years later, the park was completed for the recreation and delight of the inhabitants of Kotka. The chief designer of the park was Heikki Laaksonen, Head of the Parks and Grounds Department. The main responsibility for the construction of this park, like all other parks in Kotka, was carried out by the Parks and Grounds Department.
In addition to the abundant and varied vegetation, the primary elements of the Sapokka Water Garden are water, stone and lighting. Sea water, fed from the outermost breakwater via 500 metre pipe cascade into the bay from a 20 metres high waterfall. Sea water also ripples in the brook. Together the waterfall and brook serve as the bay´s water cycle and oxidation system and can be regulated as required. Carps introduced in the bay further contribute to the cleanliness of the water.
Stones have been used and recycled in a variety of ways in the Water Garden. The upper level of the waterfall houses a stone exhibition where you can find commercially available rock types in Finland and learn how stone can be worked.
The Sapokka Water Garden offers many things to admire through every season of the year. In the spring, there are tens of thousands of bulb flowers, and in the early summer the rhododendrons and azaleas come into bloom. Numerous perennials bring colour to the park throughout the growing season. After the summer, it is the turn for the autumn colours, and winter brings a whole new mood to the environment. Illumination adds further variety to the park throughout the year. There are more than 100 small floodlights in the area, highlighting selected details.
A good park with its varying elements is a piece of art. The Sapokka Water Garden also displays sculptures. More than a dozen bronze animal sculptures by Hannele Kylänpää depicting animals such as rabbit, pheasant, ermine, duck, cat, magpie and cuckoo have been placed in various parts of the Water Garden.
The Sapokka Water Garden is the most awarded park in Finland. It was chosen as Best Outdoor Illuminated Item in Finland in 1993, Environmental Construction of the Year in 1994 and Best Stonework Project in 1996.