The Growing Works Labyrinth Story

The idea for the Growing Works labyrinth came from Naval Base Chaplain Patricia Coley who has seen some really nice labyrinths in places where she has been deployed. We appreciate her volunteer work for Growing Works and rallying her friends from the Base to assist.

Our volunteer Landscape Designer, Dr. Steven Sandifer, created the plan for the labyrinth. His design incorporates lavender plants that will be tended by Growing Works employees as part of their horticultural therapy and vocational training program.

The rocks for the labyrinth’s paths were gathered by dozens of volunteers from a construction site in Lake Sherwood. Blois Construction generously transported the rocks for us.

Peter Hansen, who farms the neighboring fields, donated his time to disc the weeds to help prepare the site. Volunteer Seabee Brett Workman drove a rented tractor, circling and compacting the ground for hours, giving the labyrinth a firm foundation.

Irrigation lines were installed by Dennis Perry, volunteer Nursery Developer, with the help of nursery employees who are clients of our County’s Behavioral Health Department and whose job skills now include irrigation line installation. Next Dennis and Steve aligned the labyrinth with the points of the compass, with the exit/entrance pointing true north.

Volunteers from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and Ventura County Firefighters spent hours on a weekend morning spreading decomposed granite across the entire surface of the 70-foot wide labyrinth, and placed over one thousand rocks along its paths.

With a generous donation from Carlson Building Materials of cube-shaped boulders for seats, and a long obelisk-shaped rock that will act like a gnomon on a sundial, the elements of the labyrinth are complete.

Now the lavender plants are about to be planted by Growing Works employees in time for the ribbon cutting and labyrinth naming May 19th. The labyrinth is being named in honor of the late Dr. Richard Grossman, an internationally recognized physician for burn treatment who dedicated his life to healing, and had a love for plants and labyrinths.