Advocate Staff Photo by Alexander Barkoff -- Lafreniere Park, Metairie, LA, has begun preparation for a Labyrinth that will open to the public next month. Shown is a pathway to its center, Friday, July 18, 2014. The labyrinth is used as a path for meditation or quiet time. Funds for the $65,000 project were raised by Jefferson Beautification Inc, The Patrons of Lafreniere Park and from Jefferson Parish Councilman Ben Zahn whose district includes the park. It will measure approximately 43 ft in diameter. The labyrinth is located near the Children's Memorial Garden, not far from the park's Foundation Center.

Considered as a way to meditate, a labyrinth is also a way to help enhance right brain activity and even spiritual transformation.

And sometime next month, visitors to Lafreniere Park in Metairie will be have an opportunity to use a newly constructed labyrinth that will be located in the park’s Parterre Garden area, adjacent to the Children’s Memorial Garden.

Ground was broken in June for the labyrinth, which will be constructed with concrete pavers and surrounded by benches. It will measure 43 feet in diameter, including the surounding pavers.

“The cost for the construction of the labyrinth is $65,000 and the funds for the project were raised by Jefferson Beautification, the Patrons of Lafreniere Park and from Jefferson Parish Councilman Ben Zahn whose district includes the park,” explained Anne Favret, president of JBI.

She said the word “labyrinth” is of pre-Greek origin. In colloquial English, a labyrinth is generally synonymous with the word ‘maze’ but there is a major difference.

“A maze refers to a complex puzzle with choice of paths and directions. A labyrinth has only a single path which leads to the center so it is not difficult to navigate.”

Beulah Oswald-Soto is the executive director of JBI.

“Lafreniere Park is a very active park which affords many opportunities for the residents of Jefferson Parish in the areas of sports, recreation and exercise,” Oswald-Soto said. “The construction of a labyrinth was part of the original master plan for the park. It will provide a peaceful setting for meditation and reflection. JBI is excited to be working with the Patrons of Lafreniere Park and Councilman Zahn to help implement this long-awaited project.”

Favret said personalized bricks are being sold for $100 each.

“The bricks can be in memory of or in honor of a loved one,” Favret said. “Each brick will hold three lines with up to 12 characters, including spaces, per line.”

Bricks can be purchased online at the JBI website or by calling (504) 737-5221.

“The labyrinth in Lafreniere Park will be another project for the community of Jefferson Parish to enjoy,” Favret said. “A labyrinth is used as a path to meditate and find peace within oneself. So walking a labyrinth represents the journey inward to our own true selves and back out into the everyday world.”