Eagle Scout Refurbishes Arboretum Benches

SAN MARCOS (July 15, 2010) – Visitors to the Palomar College Arboretum can rest on newly refurbished benches thanks to an enterprising young man who found a way to give back to Palomar College through his Eagle Scout project.

Eagle Scout and San Marcos resident Daniel Coles was honored at the College’s July 13 Governing Board meeting for his contribution to the improvement of the Arboretum. Trustee Darrell McMullen praised Daniel for the work he did refurbishing and repainting 22 benches and said that Daniel will be receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from Palomar College for his efforts.

Daniel learned of the opportunity to refurbish the Arboretum benches through his Scout Master, Palomar History Professor Emeritus Pat Archer, who has previously served on the Arboretum board. Daniel said that this project took on special meaning when he learned that Archer’s sons had installed two of the Arboretum benches in the 1970s. He now was able to restore those same benches along with several others.

Rick Kratcoski, then Palomar’s supervisor of Grounds Services and former president of the Friends of the Palomar College Arboretum, helped Daniel identify the benches in need of repair. Daniel assessed the condition of each bench to determine the scope of the project, assembled a team of workers, and began fundraising. He raised more than $300 and also received materials donations from Lowes and from Palomar College. A professional painter donated the use of his paint sprayer for the project.

The project required more than 240 hours of labor and resulted in 22 benches being refurbished, repainted and in some cases completely rebuilt. In addition, Daniel worked with the Palomar College woodshop to install three more benches into a new area of the Arboretum.

Daniel said that his decision to choose this project was influenced by the positive experience he had when he attended Palomar College during high school, along with his plans to attend Palomar’s firefighter/EMT program starting this fall semester.

“It was a pleasure working with everyone from Palomar and it was nice to give back to the community,” he said.

by: Melinda Finn, Palomar College Public Affairs Office  760-744-1150, ext. 2365