Green Acres: Corn maze debuts in Casper
Casper – With aspirations of starting a corn maze and increasing opportunities for agriculture and ag education in Casper, Kim Syverts and her husband Steven decided that this year, they would pursue a long dream.
“It’s a dream and a vision that my husband and I have had for the last four years,” says Syvert of the maze. “This year, we had the place, all of the resources and the timing to build a maze. All of the pieces started falling together.”
For a good cause
Green Acres Corn Maze is a non-profit endeavor, and Syverts says that the profits from the maze will go to two Casper organizations: the ARC of Natrona County and the Casper FFA Alumni.
When their daughter became involved in FFA, she says budget cuts have made things harder for chapter members.
“There is a lot of responsibility put on parents to fund their kids, and some parents just can’t. It’s a shame if kids who are interested can’t participate,” Syverts notes, “because agriculture is our future.”
With her family’s involvement in agriculture, she says her plans involve helping to fund FFA events and activities through the Casper FFA Alumni.
“We have also become involved with the ARC through a neighbor who has a special needs daughter,” Syverts adds.
The ARC of Natrona County is a non-profit organization in Casper that works with developmentally disabled people throughout the area.
While the ARC will staff the maze during weekdays, FFA members and alumni will volunteer at Green Acres Corn Maze on weekends.
Activities at Green Acres
“We have the corn maze itself and a smaller maze for children,” says Syverts, noting the big maze is more than eight acres. “We also have a bale maze for the little ones.”
Additionally, there are tractor tire swings and pumpkin tetherball.
“We also have a giant corn pit, as opposed to a sandbox, which is super exciting,” she continues. “We have hayride wagons to transport people from the corn maze and pumpkin patch to the farm petting zoo.”
The petting zoo is slated to feature a wide array of animals, from miniature horses, donkeys and alpacas to chickens, cows and sheep.
Building a corn maze
“When we first started, we joined a group called ‘The Maize’ and went to a corn convention,” she says, laughing. “It was four days of corn maze. People who have done this for 20 years or more came and shared what worked best and their ideas.”
They started by plowing up their field, which had been planted with alfalfa hay. After roller harrowing and leveling the area, there were several more steps before planting.
“Then we had to come in and do the lines,” she continues, explaining that computer mapping enabled the maze to be accurately plotted on the land while the corn was still young.
After the lines were blocked out and corn was killed in those areas, they continued to water and watch the corn grow. As it nears completion, she adds that all the paths must be rototilled before FFA members, ARC members and their families will take the debut run prior to opening.
Syverts hopes the maze will start a community buzz, and her efforts to promote the maze were far reaching. Thus far, a number of youth groups and school trips are scheduled, and Syverts says they are excited.
“We would like to keep doing this, because we have learned so much this year,” she says. “I think we can implement new ideas and upgrade the techniques we used to make is run better.”
“This is agri-tourism,” she says, “and it’s educational.”
For school field trips, Syverts notes they have a complete curriculum that aligns with every grade levels, including activities for before and after visiting the farm.
“It is our aspiration to keep building in more education and more fun things every year,” comments Syverts.
For more information, call 307-577-6030 or visit greenacrescornmaze.net. Saige Albert is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at email@example.com.
Green Acres Corn Maze
Casper – The Green Acres Corn Maze runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Weekday visits can be made by appointment.
Admission is seven dollars for visitors ages 12 and older, five dollars for children ages four to 11 and free for those younger than four. The hayride and petting zoo cost three dollars. Pumpkins are also available for sale. Green Acres Corn Maze also offers special group and field trip rates.
To find the maze, take Highway 20-26 out of Casper three miles west of Natrona County International Airport and turn west on 33 Mile Road. Proceed three miles north to County Road 121. Turn right and continue 2.5 miles to the maze.
“It’s a-MAZE-ing fun for the whole family,” says Green Acres.