Sprucing up Lemoore's unique downtown, can sometimes be an artistic challenge

By Ed Martin, Editor
Local businessman Dereck Marsh stands proudly next to the unique sculpture that he created for his downtown planter, part of a city-wide program to improve Lemoore's downtown.
Local businessman Dereck Marsh stands proudly next to the unique sculpture that he created for his downtown planter, part of a city-wide program to improve Lemoore's downtown.

Lemoore’s historic downtown is looking a lot more colorful – and interesting – thanks to a unique city program encouraging local residents and businesses to “spruce” up the numerous planters that dot the downtown’s landscape – some of which have been neglected for years.

According to Sheila Taylor, the project’s coordinator and City of Lemoore Recreation Coordinator, several individuals and businesses stepped up recently, committing to plant, clean, and weed their downtown planters for at least a year. In fact, Taylor said there are still four planters that need "adopting" in the downtown area. Anyone interested is encouraged to call her at 559-907-2045.

Taylor said that many of the downtown planters had been somewhat neglected, and it was time to bring them back to life.

“Their donation is what they provide for their planter,” said Taylor, referring to an impressive array of volunteers willing to take on the downtown project. “This will allow the downtown maintenance (workers) to work on other projects like cleaning tree wells and (providing maintenance) to curbs and gutters.”

One of those volunteer businesses, Dependable Mow, owned and operated by Dereck Marsh, a relatively new lawn care business in Lemoore, has gone a step beyond. He took on a pair of downtown planters, and while providing the requisite colorful array of flowers and other features, decided to take one of his designated planters a somewhat unique step further.

Marsh decided to show off his artistic side, and while employing his hard-earned welding skills, decided to design and create a mesmerizing sculpture for his downtown garden.

The downtown planter and its new artwork are located directly in front of the old Bank of America building, where a marijuana dispensary, Natural Healing Center, opened last summer.

While he has yet to challenge Picasso in artistic impression, Marsh’s sculpture is indeed a unique work of art that obviously required a vision of what he thought was important for the downtown.

He describes his metal sculpture as a sort of “rototiller” design and credits the downtown project for making it possible to unleash what may be new-found artistic skills he didn’t know he possessed.

“Well, I was inspired by the city of Lemoore,” said Marsh. “The downtown was a little old, and I wanted to kind of spruce it up and give it my own little flair and maybe bring it back to life.”

He said his artistic vision took him about four days to complete. “I just wanted to give a little bit back to Lemoore and have something nice to look at down here,” he said while standing next to his metal masterpiece in the large planter adjacent to Lemoore’s downtown park, itself a work of art thanks to a pair of drive-in-sized- movie murals created by the talented artist Colleen Chronister.  

Anyone interested in Marsh’s skills, as either a lawn service provider or a landscape artist, can contact him at Dependable Mow at (559) 707-4611 or email him at dependablemow@gmail.com.

Marsh wasn’t alone in the city’s downtown beautification project. The following are local residents and organizations that have “adopted” downtown planters:

Volunteers in Policing

Stuart and Mona Lyons

Leah Billingsley

Jim Chaney (2 planters)

Patricia Matthews (2 planters)

Dependable Mow (2 planters)

Kirby Gravance

Ron Belvail

Ignacio Molina

Karen Bilhouh

Maria’s Jewelry

Lozano Smith, City Attorney

The Orth Family

Debi Bilhou

Faith Jones

Kings Mortgage

Stella Perez

Gibson Gates & Fencing

Comments powered by Disqus