A looming white sheet, seven feet tall, stood at the side of the walking trail at the Florence Soule Shanklin Memorial Library.
Children, members of the Westport Garden Club and residents of east Lincoln gathered to celebrate Arbor Day. Many people waited on the trail with baited breath in order to find out what object was hiding underneath.
Finally, the moment arrived as Amy Unrath, a member of Friends of the Library, unveiled what the crowd had been waiting to see.
A brown bear, sculpted to perfection, stood proud and tall as the sheet fell to the ground.
Sculpted by Bob Plummer of Mooresville, the statue was donated by the Friends of the Library.
But the bear was missing a few things, said Walt Shanklin, who donated the site of the library and named it in memory of his wife.
The bear needed a name and a library card.
â€œI told the bear that he would have to have a name to have a library card,â€ Shanklin said.
To help with the naming of the bear, children can submit names in order for him to receive a library card.
A scholarship was also awarded to students of the East Lincoln High School horticulture class, who designed a plot on the walking trail.
Land was adopted by the Westport Garden Club and students were asked to use their creativity.
There were seven submissions, which were done on architectural size draft paper.
â€œThis year, the garden club wanted to take on a project of education,â€ said Gaile Broom, president of the Westport Garden Club.
Ben Turner, Troy Dishman and Stephen Stillwell were awarded $250 from the garden club for their design and planting scheme of the meadow area. The monies are to be used towards their continuing education
Broom said it was hard to choose between all the submissions.
â€œWe choose this design because we liked that they put a trash can for ecological concerns,â€ she said.
The studentsâ€™ winning design included a bench and picnic table, in order to create a relaxing atmosphere and natural look.
â€œThe design was as pleasant as an abstract painting,â€ Broom said.
At the garden clubâ€™s next meeting, Broom said they will discuss when the project will begin with the planting of the flowers and shrubbery. Members of the garden club will be responsible for creating the studentâ€™s design.
The walking trail now also includes tree identification markers, to educate and create a botanical garden feel.
by Amy Wadsworth