UF Geomatics Students Design the FSCM for a Fourth Year
Have you ever wondered how on earth a corn maze is created and who are the genius brains behind each design? For the past two years Tim Jaskiewicz and Betty Morris have been creating the design for the maze and working hard to execute every detail so that the maze grows to perfection. If you’ve navigated the maze in the last two years, you know just what an amazing job they have done. This year Tim and Betty have returned but this time as graduates of the UF/IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences to mentor several top Geomatics Students Association (GSA) students as they take on the Fox Squirrel Corn Maze (FSCM).
The GSA students include:
- Evan Coleman (UF Geomatics Senior, Maze Designer, GSA President)
- Scott Vanetta (UF Geomatics Junior, Maze Designer)
- Marco Krieger (UF Geomatics Senior, GSA Secretary)
- Michael Blaize (UF Geomatics Senior, GSA Vice President)
- Jake Harris (UF Geomatics Senior)
One of the GSA students, Evan Coleman tells us, “We had six (6) people working on the maze this year, each traveling from a different location in Florida (from as far South as Pompano, FL and as far North as Starke, FL). Each student brought their own unique strengths to the table to help make the maze a success, from years of surveying and/or Geographic Information System (GIS) experience to ones just starting out.”
This year’s sponsor was Driscoll’s® Only the Finest Berries, Vanetta tells us that “the students were able to incorporate an intricate strawberry pattern along with Driscoll’s® name” into the maze. This year’s maze is definitely one of a kind and Vanetta gives us this hint, “The maze has many turns and dead ends along with multiple intersections to challenge even the best of Mazers. We did incorporate a few open areas along the way to allow air in to cool down and allow for Mazers to re-group. You may want to pack in with at least one bottle of water, it will take some time to traverse the maze.”
Coleman and Vanetta give us this recap of their experience creating the FSCM this year. In order to create this design the students had to take the sponsor’s logo and put their brains together to develop a theme. Next they made a trip to the site to determine the maze boundaries along with the location of all the sprinklers in the field with their Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment. The data was imported into their CAD and GIS software to design the paths of the maze and connect it all together with creative turns and curves. This was the most tedious part of the project taking almost two (2) months to complete, and they planned with many revisions along the way. After all parties were satisfied with the design, they uploaded the drawing to their GPS data collectors and placed pin flags every 6 -8 ft to denote the edge of the walkway, keeping in mind that the pathways would need to be 8 – 10 ft wide and separated by at least 12-15 ft of corn stalks so no one would cut through. After placing over a thousand flags, Janet Futch an owner, began to mow out the path between the flags to create the design that everyone will be able to experience for three (3) weekends in October.
For more information about our fall maze in Plant City, check out our website http://futchentertainment.com/the-fox-squirrel-corn-maze/