Community Garden & Labyrinth Coming To Springfield

April 27, 2012 6 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

A new community garden and prayer labyrinth will soon rise on a vacant lot in Springfield. Pastor Hamilton and Pastor Vicki of St. Johns Lutheran Church recently received a sizable grant to construct the sustainable community project on land adjacent to the church building at 1950 Silver Street.

A labyrinth is a pattern with a single winding path that leads from the entrance to the centre. All labyrinths are unicursal, that is, they have only one path. Mazes are multicursal. Their many paths present a puzzle which the walker must solve in order to reach the centre.  The oldest reliably dated labyrinth is of the Classical style and appears on a fragment of pottery from the palace of King Nestor at Pylos in southern Greece. Preserved by a fire that destroyed the palace, it dates from c. 1200 BCE.

Shawn McGuire of Three Layers A Coffeehouse has been given the honor of designing and building the community garden and labyrinth, which may be the only one of it's kind in Jacksonville.  Plans call for the construction of four 20'x4' garden plots adjacent to Silver Street.  Seeds will be provided by Amanda Searle of Sustainable Springfield.

The seven circuit labyrinth will be constructed between the garden and church.  It will feature three tons of stone, a fountain, native grasses, and concrete benches and tables for meditation that will be donated by Three Layers A Coffeehouse.

Since the early 1990's there has been a resurgence of interest in labyrinths, which coincides with today's increased focus on personal self-awareness and spiritual growth. Labyrinths are found in public parks, private gardens, and churches.

Modern-day uses are many. In hospitals, labyrinths are walked by staff, recovering patients and their visitors to relieve stress and aid in rehabilitation. Community groups and retreat centres use labyrinths for meditation, reflection, and exercise. School labyrinths can serve as an activity zone for students. They can stimulate creative thinking and problem-solving, and act as a tool for conflict resolution. The labyrinth remains a metaphor for the individual's journey through life.

St. Johns Lutheran Church is located at the intersection of 9th & Silver Streets (1950 Silver Street) in the Springfield Historic District.  Open and always available to the public, the new community garden and labyrinth will be built and completed this weekend.  As a part of the effort, volunteers are encouraged and welcome!

Article by Ennis Davis