Halls Hill Lookout and Labyrinth, a beautiful meditative landscape that overlooks Blakely Harbor, has been donated to the Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation.
The Halls Hill property is being donated by IslandWood founders Debbi and Paul Brainerd. The Brainerds developed the property over the past 15 years as a contemplative wayside stop for Bainbridge Island residents who live, walk and bike nearby. It has become known for its beautiful stone mosaic labyrinth and Tibetan bronze prayer wheel.
A wooded path connects the prayer wheel and the labyrinth, with native trees and plants creating a buffer between those two distinct works of art.
Barb Trafton, Parks Foundation executive director, said, “The Brainerds created a place that welcomes and inspires those who visit.”
Debbi Brainerd added, “Our hope is that this small piece of land will continue to offer a place of quiet refuge for locals, to stop and feel as if this was their own private sanctuary.”
The Halls Hill Lookout also honors Noel Burke, one of the first employees of IslandWood, who died in 2005.
Stone mosaic artist and landscape designer Jeffery Bale of Portland, Oregon, designed and built labyrinth, dedicated in 2014. Many believe that labyrinths are useful for healing and meditation.
Chimacum sculptor Tom Jay was commissioned to build the prayer wheel, dedicated in 2008. Prayer wheels, as developed within the Tibetan tradition, provide a way to offer heartfelt wishes that all beings might be free from sources of suffering. Mechanically turning the wheel offers a comforting motion and sound, as the wheel completes seven revolutions.
Other features by local artists can be found throughout the grounds.
The property will be maintained by the Parks Foundation with support from the Brainerds. A new Friends of Halls Hill Lookout & Labyrinth group is being formed to help care for the site.
The Parks Foundation is an independent nonprofit that raises funds to support local parks, stewardship projects, and public trail systems in partnership with the BI Metro Park & Recreation District.