Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Forest Haiku Walk Opens in Millersburg, OH

by Stephanie Harrell and Andrew Christ

On September 18, the Forest Haiku Walk opened as part of the Holmes County Open Air Art Museum (OAAM) in Millersburg, OH. The OAAM is the vision of Jason Nies, the owner of The Inn at Honey Run. The Haiku path is the vision of Julie Warther, the Midwest Region regional coordinator for the Haiku Society of America (HSA). The two worked together to create this first installment of the OAAM, which is on the Inn’s property.

Ms. Warther invited members of the Midwest Region of the HSA to write haiku reflecting each season, keeping in mind the ultimate setting of the path. Along the path, thirty haiku reflect nature, including frogs, clouds, mushrooms, leaves, streams, snow, rain, the sun, moon, and stars, and more. In the bucolic setting of Holmes County, visitors can enjoy poetry perfectly aligned with the surroundings. Each haiku elicits a sensory image that guests can connect with.

Photo by Andrew Christ

Haiku pictured (by Phyllis Lee):

waiting for you
I find a turtle
in the clouds

As visitors walk the mulched path, they will find benches for rest and reflection, as well as for observing the surroundings. In addition to mental images conjured by the haiku, one may see (depending on the season) red, black, and gray squirrels, chipmunks, deer, a variety of birds (including wild turkeys) and insects, and perhaps even one of the cats that live at the Inn.

Photo by Stephanie Harrell
Creating the walk connected local skills with the Japanese theme.  Tubar Eureka Industrial Group in Sugarcreek, OH, inscribed the haiku on steel plaques shaped like ginkgo leaves and then attached the plaques to stones from farms near the Inn. The haiku are in English as well as in the romanized Japanese transliteration and the Japanese translation. The stones are placed along the 1.4 mile path at various intervals. The spacing is designed to give the visitor time to absorb and reflect on each poem. The Walk winds through the forest on a hillside, along part of the prairie at the top of the hill, and down toward the creek that parallels County Road 203.

The path is not handicap accessible, and due to the rise and fall of the terrain, moderate exertion is required to walk the path. The Forest Haiku Walk/OAAM, as well as all trails on the Inn’s property, is open to the public and is free.

A video by Jason Nies and The Inn at Honey Run describes the OAAM and Haiku Walk. A Tuscarawas County article provides additional details from Ms. Warther. The Columbus Dispatch also ran a recent travel article about the new path. The HSA plans to publish a book that includes the haiku from the path. For more information about the Forest Haiku Walk and the Holmes County Open Air Art Museum, contact The Inn at Honey Run: Amish Country 6920 County Road 203, Millersburg, Ohio 44654-9018; phone, 1-800-468-6639; e-mail, info@innathoneyrun.com.

1 comment:

  1. I missed the opening so am glad to get your report. Years ago when my mother was still living, I took my parents out to eat at the Inn at Honey Run, and it was marvelous. I look forward to returning and checking it all out