By Christina B. Farnsworth. Combine the art of the crop circle with the idea of a maze and what do you get? "Cornfused," which ran weekends and Halloween from Sept. 28 to Nov. 2 in Fort Bend County, Texas.

Developer Sienna Plantation was host sponsor of Cornfused and carved two and a half miles of pathways through 12 acres of corn located in its 10,500-acre, master planned community in Missouri City (near Houston). Major corporate sponsor was H-E-B, the largest grocery chain in Texas, for the major "corncoction," or "spooktacular." The 9-foot-tall maze was at the intersection of Highway 6 and Sienna Parkway.

TBG Partners designed it in sections: Texas History, Heritage Quilt, Cloud, and Field of Screams. Texas History featured 11 stations, which challenged maze wenders to answer trivia questions beginning with French and Spanish Texas exploration and ending with the state's role in outer-space exploration.

A "corn curriculum" developed by the National Corn Growers Association helped teachers maximize the maze's educational potential. Students learned about "the plant and animal life in a teaspoon of soil, most of which is invisible to the naked eye."

Photo: Paul Swen

LJA Engineering amp; Surveying used Global Positioning System technology to grid and cut through the 12-acre cornfield for Sienna Plantation's "Cornfused" maze. Heritage Quilt and Cloud maze sections were designed to appeal to younger children. Field of Screams was deliberately challenging and tricky to navigate, especially at night. On weekends there was live entertainment. During Halloween, ghosts and goblins haunted the maze, with the scariest characters in the Field of Screams.

Sienna Plantation also hosted "The Amazing Home Giveaway"; a $6 Cornfused ticket stub was the entry ticket. To win, entrants to Club Sienna's water park had to guess the pre-programmed code.

The grand prize was worth $250,000 applied to a Sienna Plantation home or two (since Sienna homes start at $125,000). Proceeds from ticket sales benefited the Fort Bend Family YMCA.