About Us

Growing together for 70+ years

 

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A Home-Grown Family Business Since 1948

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Years in business

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Acre nursery

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Varieties of plants

We have a rich history in the Great Lakes Bay Region. We started in 1948, when Richard “Dick” Somalski returned home from Michigan State University, where he studied forestry. He started a small company called Bay Lawn Service, installing lawns and planting shrubs and trees for residential and commercial properties throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Dick met and wed Marilyn, the love of his life, and she quickly became integral to the business with her accounting experience. Their children, Julie, Dan, and Jerry grew up with the business, helping Dick in the mornings and weekends. Dick’s two sons Dan and Jerry handled the commercial and residential ends of the business, respectively until 2012.

Today, Bay Lawn Service has grown into Bay Landscaping, a reputable member of the local, state, and national communities. We’re proud that Bay Landscaping supports 25 families, and has grown its starter 3-acre parcel of land into a 70+ acre nursery. We’re looking forward to sharing our experience and expertise with you!

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70+ Years of Growth

1950's


The company begins to grow. Dick purchases new and innovative equipment that's specialized for the landscape industry, like this Lawn Maker.

1960's


The company grows as more property is purchased and the fleet of trucks and tractors is expanded. (Fun fact – one of the tractors is still in use today at the nursery!)

Early 1970's


Dick and Marilyn’s sons, Dan and Jerry, begin working in the business. Jerry (age 13) is pictured in the lower right, then Dan (17), then Dick. With the cap is crew member Narsico Padilla, crew member Tom Nowicki. Both retired from Bay Landscaping after long careers. The three young gentlemen on the left were MSU students interning in the nursery and landscape business. Dick continues the professional development of the company and staff, bringing both local and international interns.

Mid 1970's


The company continues to invest in new, modern equipment with the purchase of one of the first tree spades. The automation reduced the need for labor-intensive hand digging of large trees.

Late 1970's


This timeframe saw the evolution from balling and burlapping pretty much everything, to using lightweight containers that required less labor hours and allowed plants to be moved year-round.

Early 1980's


The purchase of bobcats was another example of continuing to move with the times to adopt modern technology. These bobcats were used with the tree spade to move trees instead of using tractors.

Mid 1980's


During 1984 and 1985, our designers attended the Fred Buscher Landscape Design Short Course for landscape professionals at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. These programs were a real eye-opener for the Bay Landscaping team! Fred Buscher saw a need for landscapers to improve their landscape architectural skills and move away from the outmoded foundation planting process. Pictured in the photo are Dan Somalski (driver), Jerry Somalski (with head turned), Jack Gustafson (front passenger), and Warren Liken (rear passenger).

Early 1990's


From left to right is Jerry, Dick, Marilyn, and Dan. Again, speaking to the professional development and life-long learning – Jerry was President of the Michigan Nursery and Landscaping Association in 1992. His father Dick was President in 1964. His brother Dan was President in 2002.

Another significant item in the 1990’s was moving from a paper to a computerized system!

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1992


The new office was built around the old office in 1992. Landscape crews helped with the construction and the new tractors came in handy!

2001


By the turn of the century, the company had expanded its operations to encompass 70+ acres of nursery area.

 

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Core Values

Our values aren't just words on paper - they're the guiding principles we live by every day here at Bay Landscaping.

  • Enjoy the Journey

    Have a positive work ethic every day.

  • Do the Right Thing

    Work with integrity and respect

  • Make Something Better Today

    Solve problems responsibly

  • Evolve and Grow

    Embrace lifelong learning and keep an open mind

Affiliations

Below are just some of the ways that we stay connected to the landscape industry and our community to ensure we stay current with new plants, technology, best practices, and environmentally safe materials.

Listen In ...

Bay-about-Farm-Service-Radio

Get timely tips and advice straight from owner Jerry Somalski during his twice-weekly radio segment on WSGW 790 AM's Farm Service broadcast.

Meet the Team!

Bay Landscaping’s staff is more like family. Craft, work ethics, respect for the property of others and our “labor” of love for the great outdoors are characteristics that distinguish our Bay Landscaping team. Our family consists of Michigan Certified Nurserymen, and some of our family has been with Bay Landscaping since the early 70’s!

In the Nursery

When you visit our retail nursery at 1630 North S.E. Boutell Rd. in Essexville, Michigan, you're treated as part of the Bay Landscaping family. Questions? Just ask! Want to buy a specific plant? We'll bring you right to it! Not sure what you need? We'll take you on a tour of the nursery in a golf cart!

In the Field

With certified professionals of all kinds, our field crews not only deliver the best in landscape maintenance services, but they're also uniquely qualified to recognize (and deal with!) potential issues before they become a problem.

In the Office

When you call Bay Landscaping, send us an email, or receive correspondence from us, you'll likely be dealing with our warm, friendly, and helpful office crew. If they can't answer your question, they'll put you in touch with someone who can. And if you need help with anything, they'll do their utmost to give you a hand.

Licensed, Bonded, and Insured

Bay Landscaping is a licensed landscape contractor registered, bonded, and insured in the state of Michigan. Consumers should always check to make sure the landscape company they hire is properly licensed. We ensure strict control over the quality of each job we contract, and we guarantee our work.