The Estonian Health Trails (EHT) foundation was established in2005 by Merko Ehitus, Swedbank and Eesti Energia. It serves as the umbrella organisation for the national network of health tracks, advising on the development of such tracks throughout the country, coordinating development activities, assisting with financing, contributing to the network’s communication and cooperation activities in the popularisation of exercise and promoting people’s health. Its long-term partners in developing the network are the Ministry of Culture and the State Forest Management Centre (SFMC).
EHT’s mission is to provide the majority of the Estonian population with free access to a network of health tracks close to their homes for year-round exercise.
EHT’s vision is for the Estonian population to take regular exercise and for the number of healthy years enjoyed by people in the country to reach the European average.
EHT’s network currently includes 122 well-maintained health tracks covering 1100 kilometres, on 29 of which artificial snow production is already possible or is under development. The tracks are maintained by a team of 200 specialists on the payroll of local governments or sports centres.
As at 2020, EHT’s founders have invested 5.1 million euros in the development of health track infrastructure around Estonia. Additional funding from the state and local governments and the European Union brings that total to more than 50 million euros.
SA EESTI TERVISERAJAD
The Estonian Health Trails (EHT) foundation
Register code: 90008821
VAT number: EE 100966536
Official address: Liivalaia 8, Tallinn 15040
Post address: Järvevana tee 9g, Tallinn 11314
Account number: EE852200221027472704
Merko is building the future and a better living environment for us all with every new structure its team completes. Over the last 30 years it has built new homes for 8500 families in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Every kilometre of track and trail is an investment in the future, too. Merko wants everyone in Estonia to be able to exercise whenever they wish to, and to enjoy doing so – because every step is a step towards better health!
Remember the feeling you get after a brisk jog in the woods, the clarity and energy it brings? We do and we want more and more people in Estonia to have the opportunity to exercise for free whenever they feel like it. In addition to helping with the development of health trails, we also participate in projects that encourage kids and teenagers to exercise and lead an active lifestyle, thereby taking care of their mental health as well. As of 2016, we have annually offered the chance to apply for funding to organise physical activity and sports programmes for the youth.
Eesti Energia’s mission is to put all of its energy into helping others. With it, we contribute to the promotion of healthy lifestyles and ways of thinking among the population. We want everyone in the country to feel good, which is why we are developing Estonia’s network of health tracks in cooperation with Swedbank and Merko, bringing light to natural pathways that are otherwise shrouded in darkness.
Ministry of Culture
The Ministry of Culture works with EHT to develop health tracks and sports centres all over Estonia.
State Forest Management Centre
Those at the SFMC who work to protect the environment do everything they can to ensure that state forests, the national parks they manage and other nature reserves offer as wide a range of recreational opportunities as possible without causing any harm or damage to the flora and fauna found there. The SFMC establishes hiking trails, maintains accommodation sites, marks out relaxation areas and prepares camping and barbecue sites. In addition to creating recreational opportunities, it also offers nature education services.