Landscaper Ryan Summerhays welcomes city’s growth and works to be water-wise
Ryan Summerhays grew up in Draper and remembers when the town was primarily made up of farms and horse property. He has watched the evolution of Draper from wide-open spaces to the growing city that it is today.
The Summerhays family history in Draper started when his grandfather bought property in the early 50’s. Ryan’s dad, city councilman Alan Summerhays, was about ten years old at the time.
Ryan was drawn to the landscape business as a result of how he was raised. “I grew up on five acres. My dad had a lot of tractors and equipment and it wasn’t unusual for him to volunteer my services,” he said with a chuckle, adding, “I was the ultimate boy in the sense that I loved tractors and working in the dirt.”
He can recall when the current location of Starbuck’s was a small airport. “Corner Canyon was our playground, before the trails were actually trails,” he said. He relishes those small town memories and experiences, but he also welcomes the transformation of Draper as it’s grown.
Ryan’s company motto is, “We do it right the first time, every time.” Summerhays Landscape is committed to making sure that every landscape is done right. “Every project cannot be perfect, but I will always stand behind my work and my crew,” he said.
Ryan invests time in continuing education for himself and for his crew, particularly when it comes to water management and efficient water use. He states, “Water is one of our biggest commodities. We need to work to be better stewards of the water we have.” He is a proud member of the Irrigation Association, and states, “I am very passionate about water conservation. I feel that this is such an important aspect in the landscape community; water is life.”
Volunteering time in the community is important to Ryan. In the footsteps of his dad, he serves on the city’s Parks and Trails Committee, a position he was appointed to by Mayor Troy Walker. “We advocate for balance in our open space for all users. I think the parks are stellar and I would push to continue the growth of parks and trails. It is important to have places to hike, bike, and play outdoors. I like the idea of keeping our children moving and active, to be outside and off technology,” he said.
One of his proudest landscape achievements is Ballard Corner Memorial Park in Draper which features a monument and bench honoring the late Sergeant Derek Johnson. “That was an honor to do. I’m glad that Draper was able to create a space in his memory. That’s one of the more powerful things we’ve been a part of,” he said.
This March marked 14 years of Summerhays Landscape being in business. “Being able to work with someone and transform their yard to create what they want is part of my why. I like empowering people to use their creativity and transform their living space into something that will create memories with their family and loved ones.”
Ryan feels that landscaping is often oversimplified. First, you must consider Utah’s unique climate as well microclimates. Microclimates can change from neighborhood to neighborhood as well as different parts of your own yard. There is also an extensive amount of knowledge that goes into the architecture of plant design. “Landscapers keep things alive like doctors and vets, you have to have the knowledge base and then be able to assess what will thrive rather than just live. It’s not just a matter of planting trees and putting sprinklers in the ground,” he said.
Summerhays Landscape services the entire Wasatch Front with commercial and residential landscaping and maintenance. This includes sprinkler systems and repair, planting, hardscapes such as patios and water features. During winter they provide snow removal services to commercial clients.