The Green Labyrinth

Created by the 2015 Summer interns: Kimberly Nolan and Pamela Gilligan

Our Labyrinth

With an emphasis on stewardship, preservation, and conservation, the Green Labyrinth serves as a space for people to contemplate the interconnectedness between all living beings. Our labyrinth allows people to center themselves, contemplate their place within nature, and reflect on what action we can take within the natural world. Explore the labyrinth with love and reverence for all living things.

The labyrinth is the ideal location for reflection and mindfulness for people of all ages. The meandering spiral, coupled with self-guided meditation, promotes consciousness within nature.  Located just a few minutes from the Visitors Center along the Bucks County Trail, our labyrinth is a spiral-shaped pattern, designed to create a sensory experience for both mind and body. Nestled in the forest, it blends into the surrounding vegetation in a quaint and subtle way. May you find peace, solace and magic at its center.

A History of Labyrinths

Appearing in ancient mythology and on assorted artifacts throughout history, the elusive creation and implementation of the labyrinth remains a mystery. The symbol itself has been “traced back over 3,500 years; it occurs in different cultures, at different points in time, in places as diverse as Peru, Arizona, Iceland, Scandinavia, Crete, Egypt, India and Sumatra.” Believed to possess both healing and spiritual properties, a labyrinth is an ancient and mysterious pattern that is representative of the journey through life. Unlike a maze where you encounter a wrong turn or a dead end, the labyrinth has one way in, leading to the center, and one way out. Walking a labyrinth can be a meditative experience, staying on the winding path, sometimes moving toward the center, then away from it again, eventually leading to the center. The serenity of the labyrinth is commonly used as an aide for personal and spiritual development.

At Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, the Green Labyrinth is a calming focal point within the forest, creating a bridge between the inner self and the natural world. The spiral design appeals to people of all ages and awakens a childlike wonder through the exploration of the extraordinary.

Site cleared and stones gathered for placement.

Building the Labyrinth

Over the course of 6 weeks, we refurbished an open section of forest adjacent to the Bucks County trail. The specific spot we chose featured relatively minimal understory, limited canopy cover, and showed no signs of erosion or chances of flooding. We surveyed the area, marking and cataloging all of the plants.

After clearing and redistributing the leaf litter within the surrounding forest, we transplanted and relocated the pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata), tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), may apple (Podophyllum peltatum), ironwood (Carpinus caroliniana), hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and any other seedlings or plants we came across. The perimeter was constructed of fallen limbs gathered from the surrounding forest while the rocks were gathered from the hillside along the Ecology Trail.

To galvanize your experience in the labyrinth, individual meditation is encouraged. Within our brochure, a step by step meditation guide aims to heighten your interaction.

Here is an excerpt from the Green Labyrinth Meditation:

Silently say to yourself, “I am present, I am balanced, I am grounded.” Breathe in, breathe out, and feel the pulsing energy of life around you.

Silently say to yourself, “I can heal. I can help. I can love.” Breathe in, breathe out and repeat.

To read the full meditation, pick up a brochure at the Visitor’s Center.

Contemplative Stones

Gathered from the Pidcock Creek streambed and other trails around the Preserve, our rocks are a central part of the Green Labyrinth. The stones at the entrance are designated for your contribution to the natural structure. You are welcome to add stones to the spiral, but please do not take them away.

Stop by the Visitor Center to pick up a brochure and learn more!

Fill out a brief survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BBM52RH to tell us about your experience at the Green Labyrinth!