In a special outreach titled Space Farm 7, seven of the nation's top agritourism farms have been selected to celebrate and honor the U.S. space program in collaboration with NASA this fall.
Each farm has planted corn mazes that will feature designs celebrating NASA's achievements and progress in space. An increasingly popular phenomenon of crop circle-type creations, each of the seven corn mazes will open this fall to challenge and delight visitors.
NASA has ten regional research centers located in the United States, each of which has a different responsibility. The individual Space Farms have each been paired up with their local space center in order to highlight that region's contribution to NASA.
The objective of this outreach project is to expose guests to NASA space exploration and educate children across the United States. The celebration is very timely as this year NASA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first American in space, the 30th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle mission and the 20th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's deployment in space.
Games and activities in the mazes will reinforce the educational missions of the space program so maze-goers can learn and have fun at the same time. Other activities proposed for the farms include traveling space displays, NASA sponsored activities and online educational materials.
The group is also working together to schedule astronaut visits and to host a national contest where winners earn a visit to Kennedy Space Center and the chance to dine with an astronaut. To enter, maze visitors simply visit spacefarm7.com and vote on their favorite of the seven maze designs. A winner will be randomly selected at the end of October.
"We are honored to be chosen to be part of this program," said Brett Herbst, founder of The MAiZE Inc., which designs and carves the mazes. "Not only do we get to collaborate with other farm operators across the nation in a unified effort to entertain and educate families, we are also going to be part of history in paying tribute to NASA."
Participating farms include Belvedere Plantation in Fredericksburg, Virginia; Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York; The Rock Ranch in Rock, Georgia; Vala's Pumpkin Patch in Gretna, Nebraska; Dewberry Farm in Brookshire, Texas; Cornbelly's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest in Lehi, Utah and Dell'Osso Family Farm in Lathrop, California. All are associated with The MAiZE Inc., the world's largest maze design company.