A group of Lexingtonians is asking for donations from the community to build a paved, labyrinthine walking path in Wellington Park.
The proposed path would be 42 feet in diameter and surrounded by an already existing ring of trees on all sides.
Unlike a maze, the proposed labyrinth would be completely flat. According to Sharon Rostosky, a professor of counseling psychology at UK and one of the project’s spearheads, the purpose of the labyrinth is relaxation.
“You just follow the path and wind around. Eventually, you get to the center, and then you wind back out to the entrance. So you can’t get lost; it’s not a puzzle to figure out. It’s something that, amazingly, quiets your mind,” Rostosky said.
Rostosky has walked several labyrinths across the United States and Canada, including ones in San Fransisco and Toronto. She said that labyrinthine walking patterns have always proven calming to her. By bringing a labyrinth in Lexington, she hopes to give that sense of calm to other Kentuckians.
The proposal is in its fundraising stage, with anticipated costs ringing in at $87,270. Thus far, enough has been raised to begin construction on the labyrinth’s retaining wall, upon which walkers and park visitors may sit and rest. Rostosky predicted that around $75,000 more will need to be raised before proper construction can begin.
Initial construction on the retaining wall is expected to begin in the coming weeks, according to Rostosky.
The proposed labyrinth was designed by Andrea Wilson Mueller of Inside Out Design. Wilson Mueller said that the work-ups for the new Wellington Park labyrinth include some other landscape features. However, installation plans for the landscape designs have been delayed and are not figured into the project’s current price tag.
The project’s price also omits land costs. Although the park is not funding the new installation, Wellington Park officials allowed Rostosky and other project managers to use the space without charge after being intrigued by the initial proposal.
Rostosky’s labyrinth has been in the works for a little over a year now. Conversations with park officials started in Spring 2018.
A construction timeline is hard to predict while funding has yet to be secured. Though project managers for similar labyrinths have advised it may take five years for the Wellington Park labyrinth to be realized, Rostosky is hopeful that the Wellington Park labyrinth will be walkable sooner than that.