Spradleys to receive Arbor Award of Excellence for work at WWU

Nominated by William Woods University, William J. Spradley
and his daughter, Kelcie, have been selected to
receive the 2012 Missouri Arbor
Award of Excellence for their work toward “Re-treeing the

Bill Spradley is
the owner of Trees,
Forests and Landscapes, Inc. in Kirkwood,
Mo., and Kelcie, is a senior at
William Woods University.  Together, the father and
daughter team provided
the impetus for WWU to become a Tree Campus USA University.
The Spradleys will receive their award
March 7 during a luncheon in Blue Springs,
Mo., during the Missouri
Community Forestry Council’s annual
The Missouri Arbor
Award of Excellence is based on the size of the community forest involved,
effectiveness of the tree care work, clarity of information, use of sound
tree-management principles, innovation/uniqueness and sustained effort.
“It’s great to have the award for my dad and me, and it’s
great to have the support from the school because without that recognition
we wouldn’t have earned this award,” Kelcie Spradley said.
had undergone two particularly severe ice storms, which destroyed
many of the lovely trees that had made
the university’s nickname, “The Woods,” so suitable. During strategic planning,
university administration, faculty and staff had identified campus
beautification as one of the
tenets of what became known as “The Woods
In January 2009,
when Kelcie Spradley was a freshman, her father contacted
university officials and told them of his concern for the trees on the William
Woods campus. He offered to donate
  • trees
    to replace those lost in past ice
  • trees to beautify the campus and
  • the services to clean up the
    deadwood and broken branches in a large grove
    of Pin Oaks that resulted
    from past ice storms and could lead to student injuries while
    walking underneath
This gift of in-kind goods
and services, which had an
estimated value of more than
$25,000, helped with the Woods Way beautification goal and helped increase
biodiversity and reforestation efforts on campus.
The plantings were designed to complement the
existing trees and provide color during different
seasons. A majority of what
was planted was native to Missouri, which increases
the chances of survival and makes maintaining the trees/plants less costly.
After that initial
contact, the relationship between the
Spradley family and William Woods University continued to grow, and a Campus
Tree Advisory Committee of
faculty, staff, students and friends was formed. The committee is
responsible for making recommendations to replace, remove or plant new trees on
In addition,
Kelcie Spradley founded and serves as president of a
student organization, Knowing the Woods. 
“We have so many extravagant, beautiful trees on our campus,”
Kelcie said, “and our campus needs to know how much of
an importance they are to our environment and
Last year, the
Arbor Day Foundation named the university as a Tree Campus USA University.
William Woods University was the first university in Missouri to earn
this recognition.
When asked why tree beautification is such a passion for her family,
Kelcie said, “Well my dad has always
had his passion for trees and it just trickled down to his children, as my brother has the
same passion. My mom also shares
the same interest as my dad and she’s
been working alongside him for 20 years.”
CUTLINE: Bill and Kelcie Spradley
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