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Cornelius News

Drought sows tough times at Rural Hill


Sept. 9. It looks like the Rural Hill Amazing Maize Maze won’t be opening Sept. 12 because of this summer’s drought. A fixture at Rural Hill since 1998, the maze made of corn is much shorter than in years past.

 The drastically reduced maze schedule will result in a “significant budget shortfall” at Rural Hill.
“We plant a drought-resistant corn each year and do everything we can to keep water on the seven acre field, but all of our efforts were not enough this summer,” said Jeff Fissel, executive director of Rural Hill.

“The experience in the Maze will be a bit different this year as the corn will be very short… Summer has been extremely dry and hot, and our corn that we rely on is suffering.”

Rural Hill, a former plantation owned by the Davidson family, plans to open the mazeOct. 3. They are planting sewit seed where the corn is very low with hopes that some cooler temperatures and rain will help fill in the hedge. Rural Hill will take appointments for field trips and corporate groups during the week.Rural Hill always relies on the Amazing Maize Maze each fall as our biggest fundraiser. “We are looking at all ideas right now for ways to make sure we raise enough money to meet all of our obligations,” Fissel said.

The Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials in November will not be affected. Day Maze tickets are $11 per person for ages 13 and up; $7.50 per person for youth ages 5-12; and ages 4 and under are free.
Rural Hill is located at 4431 Neck Road off Beatties Ford Road in Huntersville. More than a century ago, before places like Cornelius were incorporated, plantations, like Rural Hill and Latta Plantation in Huntersville and the Potts Plantation in Cornelius, were the principal landmarks in a completely rural landscape.