TWIN FALLS • Bundle up and bring your flashlights because it’s time for one of the Magic Valley’s favorite fall traditions — the College of Southern Idaho’s corn maze.
The maze — a fundraiser put on by the CSI Horticulture Club — opens today and runs through Oct. 27. It’s located on North College Road northwest of CSI’s Health Sciences & Human Services building.
The maze will be open from 5-10 p.m. every day. It will be closed Oct. 28-30 to prepare to reopen for a spooky “fright night” on Halloween, Oct. 31.
Visitors to the maze will try to make their way through an intricate labyrinth carved into the field of tall corn stalks. There will also be a bonfire and refreshments for sale each night.
CSI student Desiree Benkula has been involved with the corn maze for two years. She said she likes being a part of a community event that people look forward to every year.
“They love it,” Benkula said. “Kids will spend hours here.”
This year’s corn maze came together using a combination of traditional farming techniques and modern technology.
The corn for the maze was planted in June. CSI student and Horticulture Club president Roy Galindo took care of the field over the summer.
Galindo weeded and watered the 11-acre field using a hand line irrigation system, which is a more manual and labor-intensive process than other irrigation systems.
“It’s farm work,” he said. “It’s something that has been around for years.”
The field may have been cultivated using traditional methods, but the pattern of the maze was created with modern technology.
CSI Horticulture Instructor Chance Munns used a design program called AutoCAD and a geographic information system to create a pattern for the maze based on a design made by former CSI student Marissa
Munns said they were able to download the design to a GPS, then go to the field with a tractor to create the twists and turns of the maze.
Designing the maze has been Munns’s favorite part of the process so far and he already has ideas for future mazes.
“I’m looking forward to next year,” he said.
The money raised from the corn maze goes to several different causes. Along with the Horticulture Club, there are three other CSI student organizations that help run the maze — the Equine Club, Renewable Energy Club and Livestock Judging Team.
Each club is responsible for running the maze on certain nights and they receive part of the proceeds from that night.
The Horticulture Club uses the money they raise from the maze to buy Christmas gifts and turkeys for needy families. They also donate toys to the Toys for Tots
Munns said the main focus of the event is to give back to the community. Galindo called the event a “feel-good fundraiser.”
“When you show up with the toys for Toys for Tots, that’s what makes all the hard work worth it,” Galindo said.