Public invited to watch horse-drawn plows break ground April 21
FAYETTE, IOWA (April 12, 2007) – What do a corn maze and an institute of higher education have in common? When they join forces, they offer the public an outdoor experience that is educational, fun, physical, and a celebration.
That is what is happening this year at the Country Heritage Maize Maze in Elgin. The maze is partnering with Upper Iowa University to help UIU celebrate its 150th Anniversary.
According to maze owner Laverne Swenson, “The maze is a great opportunity to get kids out into the field to learn about corn and its uses and help preserve the story of our agricultural past.” There are mailboxes along the 3.4 acre maze that will include facts about the land, wildlife, the history of northeast Iowa and Upper Iowa University, as well as on the grounds surrounding the maze. Guests can also pick popcorn and Indian corn and visit the nearby nature center, petting zoo, farm tool museum and farm house.
The pattern for the 2007 maze will have an Upper Iowa University theme and is being designed by John Siblik, UIU assistant professor of art. Reg Laursen, math professor at Luther College will convert Siblik’s composition to a maze layout.
The next step is to break ground, which the State Line Plowing Association of S.E. Minnesota and N.E. Iowa plan to do on Saturday, April 21 (rain date April 28). The public is invited to watch this exhibition of how it was done 75 years ago--with horse-drawn plows, no tractor noise, and a beautiful display of animals that include Belgian, Percheron, shires and mules. Witness how our ancestors walked seven to ten miles a day behind a plow. Plowing begins at 10:00 a.m. and will continue until 3:00 p.m.
The Country Heritage Maize Maze is located at the Gilbertson Conservation Education Area, one half-mile east of Elgin on Highway 64. The maze is open from July 14 to Oct. 31. The hours are 1-6 p.m. Fridays and Sundays and 1-10 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is $6 for adults; $4 for ages 5-12; and free to children 5 and under.
For more information about the Maize Maze, contact the Gilbertson Nature Center at 563-426-5740.