Spradleys to receive Arbor Award of Excellence for work at WWU
|2/17/2012||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
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 Woods."
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 conference.
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.
WWU 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 Way."
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 storms
- 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 campus.
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 community."
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