Thanks to the imagination and hard work of one 17-year-old, Wilson Borough is suddenly showing a lot more civic pride.
Frederick “Freddy” Coleman, a senior at Wilson Area High School, officially presented borough residents with a permanent new flowerbed at Monday’s council meeting.
But this landscaping project is more than a place to plant tulips and daffodil bulbs. Completed to fulfill an Eagle Scout requirement for Coleman, it also displays the municipality’s name in large, black letters on an elegantly curved masonry wall.
It provides perhaps the most noticeable display of Wilson’s name on any busy thoroughfare. Soon, according to officials, it will also feature uplights.
The flowerbed sits prominently in front of the borough’s main offices on the corner of 21st and Butler Streets.
“This is an experience I will cherish,” Coleman told council members, thanking them for allowing him to carry out the project. He also thanked friends, his scounts in Troop 347, and family for helping him.
In turn, council members, visibly delighted, and the public in attendance at the meeting gave Coleman a rousing round of applause and a standing ovation.
“You’re a fine young gentleman,” said a smiling Mayor David Perusso.
While some borough officials personally contributed small amounts of money to the project, the flowerbed was almost entirely paid for through Coleman’s own fundraising efforts and local business donations. Coleman said the project cost about $800.
Dealing with the wall was the trickiest part of building the “garden,” as Coleman calls it.
“The blocks were really heavy to put together,” he said, “and I needed a lot of help from my friends and family members at the project site, and then gluing down the caps, because we had to make sure they didn’t move while they set.”
The retaining wall blocks were donated by Anchor/Oldcastle in Forks Township; the mulch came from Landscape Products Co. of Bath; the topsoil was given to the borough by Charles Chrin Co. of Easton.
Coleman serves as student body president, and is a member of Wilson’s track team. He hopes after graduation to double-major in computer engineering and pre-law at either Rutgers University or University of Pittsburgh.