HOW IT ALL BEGAN………
In 1997 John Bruinsma read a magazine article about a student in Utah who set up a corn maze to help families experience farm life in a fun way. This concept appealed to John, who, along with wife Diane, had strong ties to the agricultural community in the Fraser Valley. They recognized that fewer and fewer people had access to family farms and they believed in the importance of connecting our community with agriculture.
Two years later in 1999 John and Diane, along with partners Lloyd and Wendy Taekema, opened the first corn maze in Canada. Through years of hard work the Bruinsmas and the Taekemas transformed the old dairy farm on Cannor Road into the Chilliwack Corn Maze. The roots of the farm have remained the same. The old barn and bunker and the apple orchard that the Bruinsmas cultivated previously are still there and land was cleared to make room for pumpkin patches. The field that previously rotated crops became dedicated primarily to corn. Agricultural attractions and educational programs were added and new life and energy were were brought to the farm. It quickly became a popular destination for families, schools and various community groups to cultivate memories and traditions.
Today the farm is operated by John and Diane’s three daughters along with their husbands and 9 small children. They are excited and honoured to have the opportunity to carry on this beautiful legacy in our community. As the lower mainland becomes increasingly urbanized, the desire to reconnect people with nature and agriculture remains a core motivation on the farm.
Each year the design of the maze changes. Our goal in the creation of each design is to make sure that the message in our field is something positive that helps encourage and spread light throughout our community. It’s a labour of love and we get excited every year to share it with our guests.
The 2023 corn maze maze design is a celebration of the relationships and memories that have been made on the farm and in the community over the last 25 years. The design itself is simple. A barn sits in a field surrounded by corn and pumpkins with the sun radiating in the background. Leading to the front door of the barn is a winding road. For the team at Greendale Acres this is the road back home. They have all spent time living away from the farm but they have always been brought back. That is their hope for their guests. No matter where you go or how busy life becomes you will always have a family farm to call home.