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This blog is the first in a series in which we will be reporting on the progress of “The Labyrinth Project.” On April 14, my fiancé Brian and I arrived at Munson Williams Proctor Museum of Art where we volunteer. We were about to embark on a new landscaping initiative…a labyrinth.  The project will create a labyrinth in a little used but visible portion of the property next to the Museum building (designed by Phillip Johnson). The labyrinth is the brainstorm of an extraordinary Volunteer Coordinator, Marcia Menuez-Commerford.  It is probably not one of her “other duties as assigned”; she works with us during “non-working” hours. Clearly, she is a problem solver and a go-getter who embarks on every project with gusto.

Here are Marcia’s ideas sent to us via email:

Here we go with Day 1: The Secret Tool.

Brian and I are ready to go, tools and materials at the ready. Now what? Moments later, Marcia dives in with the directions.*

Brian and I, with Marcia’s measures of the distance between the stakes using a t-square and measuring tape. Hmmm….we start to think, maybe there is a different way to do this? We think about this more and discuss it.*

Brian then suggests that we use a survey-grade GPS unit to shoot in the correct points. “But we don’t have one of those.” Marcia reminds us. “Actually, it’s in the car.” Brian says. The stakes can then be placed within half of a centimeter of where they need to be – for the near-perfect labyrinth design.   Marcia is pretty excited about this prospect, as am I.

Here Brian gets the GPS ready and “fires it up.”*

Brian shoots in the points with sub-centimeter accuracy as Marcia and I “supervise.”*

After Brian finishes getting the points shot in, and Marcia and I are done supervising, we take a walk. Our mission: to see the pavers we will be using as the walls of the labyrinth. . Here is a detail of some of them in the pile of hundreds. The question arises…will we need sand and gravel too?*

A nice detail of the mound of pavers. I love the antique, weathered chair juxtaposed on the pile.*

*All photographs above are by Marcia Menuez-Commerford.

That afternoon Brian made an aerial map in AutoCad to show what the labyrinth will look like next to MWPAI’s building. Marcia was happy. We were too.

Next time: The Stake Out