Sonia Chavez of SMC Landscape Services takes pride in the fact that her crews are the ones who clean, mow and landscape the major corridors of the Hobby area, including the Broadway corridor and segments of the Gulf Freeway and Monroe Boulevard.
“We enjoy working with the Hobby Area District staff and we are happy that our work keeps the District looking beautiful,” Chavez said recently. “We pick up the litter, do the landscaping and keep the Metro bus shelters clean.”
SMC Landscaping has been working with the District since 2018 and was the original landscaping company for the beautification of Broadway.
They have several crews working in the district, including one that picks up the litter and cleans and mows the Monroe Boulevard ditch. Monday is their busiest day. They have to work extra hard, Chavez said, to keep the area free of banned signs advertising garage sales or home businesses that seem to pop up, especially on weekends, as fast as the crews can take them down.
A separate crew works to mow, plant, water, mulch, fertilize and weed on the median and right of way along Broadway, which is the gateway to the airport that serves 14 million passengers per year.
“Once a month, we clean the Hobby side of Interstate 45 from Dixie Drive to Almeda, and mow and edge along the highway,” Chavez said. “The crew tries to make sure that as soon as you get off the freeway it looks pretty as the entrance to the district.”
The crews also work along these roads: Telephone, Almeda Genoa, Clearwood, Airport and Bellfort.
Chavez is a proud alum of the University of Houston and earned a master’s degree in professional studies from the University of Denver. Her vision is to become the preferred landscape company for business properties and homeowners. SMC is already the landscaper for several management districts.
“We’re a small, family-owned company with about 40 people in the field,” Chavez said.
“We’re growing steadily and we’re getting our name out there,” Chavez said. “We have a list of certifications with the City of Houston, including being a woman-owned business and a minority-owned business.”
Chavez said keeping the company afloat during the past year of business shutdowns was a challenge, but by distancing the people in the crews and shifting schedules for the office staff, the company weathered the pandemic. And after the February winter storm, they found themselves busier than ever, with requests from residential and commercial customers to remove dead plants and replace them.
And with spring, SMC is busy getting plants in the ground for all of their customers.
“The people with the Hobby Area District do a good job of driving around to see how the district is looking and letting us know if we need to do anything different,” Chavez said. “They really know what’s going on.”
— By Brian Rogers