Unique partnership develops activity

A unique partnership between leaders of Grove Farm Company, Pioneer Hi-Bred International and Kauai Christian Fellowship has led to creation of the firstever corn maze, located along Ala Kinoiki (Koloa bypass road) in Po’ipu.

“Without them, we could have never pulled this off,” said Pastor Rick Bundschuh of Kauai Christian Fellowship, about the help given to the effort by leaders of Grove Farm and Pioneer.

Pioneer officials not only provided the seeds, labor and design, and planted the corn, but had to physically relocate other crops to make room for the maze, Bundschuh said.

Grove Farm owns the land where the maze is located. Grove Farm leaders also provided irrigation materials for the maze, which is now open to the public Fridays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and again from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. for “moonlight madness” tours; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.

Bundschuh said church leaders are considering opening the maze every day the week before Halloween (beginning Sunday, Oct. 23), and the maze is also available weekdays for school groups.

The cost is $4 per person for school groups, but no one will be turned away for inability to pay the donation, he said.

Everyone who goes through the maze gets a DVD that has information on what Pioneer workers do on this island, how the global positioning system (GPS) process is used to design and lay out the maze, and other information.

There are coloring and activities books for the keiki, and special child clues to help them navigate the maze (for example, a bunny eats what? Carrots, go left. Something else, go right).

The cost is $7 for adults, and $5 for children 12 and under, by donation, and a dollar more for each during the Moonlight Madness hours.

Some who have already experienced the maze (it opened officially last weekend) are amazed, and keep coming back.

“I’ve been through it a few times now, my kids have, and it is such a blast,” said Kelly McEvoy of Kalaheo. “It is a lot of fun. It is not 50 acres, it’s just two acres. It’s definitely a lot of fun. In the evenings it’s a lot of fun, too,” she said.

“It’s really not religiously-based. It’s just a corn maze kind of a fun event for all the public to enjoy,” she added.

“I think we could do this every year, for the public, for the kids, for school groups. It is really fun.”

“We brought in Rob Stouffer, a professional corn-maze creator from Missouri (www.precisionmaze.com) to design and cut our maze,” Bundschuh said. Church volunteers provided lots of the labor.

The maze is located right across from the church, and mazegoers should park in the church parking lot, get tickets, sit through a short orientation session, then hop on a shuttle which will safely take them across the busy road to the maze, and then back to their cars, he said.

On some afternoons, musicians will be plying their trade from deep in the maze, Bundschuh said. “You can hear them, but will you be able to find them?”

Glow necklaces or flashlights for night journeys, T-shirts and refreshments, will all be available to purchase in the foyer.

The corn maze idea came about when Bundschuh got into a discussion about these GPS-designed wonders with some members of the congregation and neighbors who work for Pioneer.

Please call 742-9396 for more information, or to schedule a group on weekdays, or call Bundschuh, 639-6146.

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