Labyrinth Garden Earth Sculpture: Meditation Garden for the Community
Mar 28, 2012 10:03AM
● By Mary Steiner
Gardening keeps the mind and body healthy and active, as well as offering a meaningful opportunity for social interaction. Retired schoolteacher Barbara Robertson first saw a labyrinth garden in Lewistown, Montana. She was so impressed that she decided to build a labyrinth garden back home as a way to give back to her community. After gathering a few grants to get started, plus permission from the city to build in a public park and a core of dedicated volunteers, the Labyrinth Garden Earth Sculpture became a reality.
Found in many different countries and cultures, labyrinths have been created for centuries. Unlike a maze, with false turns and dead ends, a labyrinth is a pattern that contains a single pathway that turns back on itself at least once before leading to the center. The reasons for the use of the labyrinth in times past are elusive, but today’s applications are geared toward the health of the mind, spirit and body; walking the labyrinth acts as a moving meditation, often relaxing, even to those that cannot sit still.
Built in 2005 by an all-volunteer workforce in the city of West Bend, Wisconsin, the Labyrinth Garden Earth Sculpture was designed in the tradition of a seven-circuit Cretan labyrinth, and is 90 feet in diameter. The grassy pathway is lined with gardens full of perennials, annuals, herbs, bulbs and ornamental grasses. It is maintained by local volunteers; anyone in the community is welcome to participate in this ongoing process. People in condo associations, senior living complexes and apartments can take advantage of the opportunity to garden, despite not having a yard of their own.
Open to all visitors in season, the garden provides an inspirational and beautiful setting for meditation and reflection that is enjoyed by church groups, garden clubs, wedding couples, photography buffs and others looking for a peaceful setting. Designated a Daylily Display Garden in 2009 by the American Hemerocallis Society, the garden has become a showplace for thousands of gorgeous blooms each summer.
Cost: Free. Location: 800 N. Main St., in Regner Park, West Bend. Parking and picnic facilities are available. For a map and more information, visit WestBendLabyrinth.com.