Group committed to revitalizing downtown Merced

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- The parking lot on Canal and 16th Street in downtown Merced is home to the Farmers Market. It looks like any other parking lot, but the group Committed to Downtown is hoping to make it something special.

"They come down and they make it look as good as they can but things like baron planter boxes, just look not very farmers market like," said Doug Fluetsch group founder and President of Fluetsch and Busby Insurance.

They're going to clean up and plant flowers to make the area more inviting. They started about a year and half ago as a way to give back and revitalize their home.

"I could see over the next five or six years literally touching every part of main street from G to R," said Fluetsch.

Their first project involved fixing the planter box at Bob Heart Square, the downtown's core. The project was small in scale, but Five Ten Bistro owner Robert Matsuo said it left a big impression on him and his customers.

"When you step out of your car you are not looking at dead bushes or empty ground you are looking at beautiful trees and I think it just gives you an ambience when you get out of the car," said Matsuo.

Fluetch said any change big or small counts. He hopes that other businesses are inspired by his work and follow his lead.

"Plant a few flowers, plant a bush," he said. "Do what you have to do to make your section of Main street in downtown look good. That little bit of community pride if every business takes a little bit we have a huge thing accomplished."

The long-term goal is to work on a revitalization project every six months or every year.
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