Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lisa graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in Forestry. Graduate school brought her to the Bluegrass State, where she later attended the University of Kentucky to pursue a master’s degree in Forestry with a concentration in strip mine reclamation. Since then she raised two children, working part-time for several organizations before connecting with her conservation roots at The Nature Conservancy in 2005. After her kids finished with high school, Lisa and her husband moved back to the country, bought 20 acres along North Elkhorn Creek, built a passive solar home using as many recycled materials as they could find and afford, and planted their property with 800 trees and 10 acres of native warm season grasses and native forbs.
nature.org: Have you always had an interest in conservation?
Lisa Morris: Yes, my father thought his children should see the United States. So he and my mom packed up their five kids in the station wagon and we explored the country. We read every plaque along the way! For me, the visits to national parks fostered a life-long interest in conservation.
nature.org: How did your career path lead to working with The Nature Conservancy?
Lisa Morris: I worked in many different types of part-time jobs while raising my two kids, eventually connecting with The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky as a part-time secretary. With the kids grown I now work full-time as the chapter’s office manager. When I’m not tending to the office’s administrative needs, I’m thrilled to get outside and get my hands dirty!
nature.org: What projects have your focus these days?
Lisa Morris: In addition to the office work, I participate as part of the burn crew. I also serve as the non-native, invasive species contact for the chapter.
nature.org: What do you hope to tackle in the long-term?
Lisa Morris: I am always working to make The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky’s office operations and spaces “greener.” And I hope to continue my work on serving as a resource for non-native, invasive species eradication and education – it’s a big issue here in Kentucky!
A Place I Love When Lisa has the opportunity, she seeks out the Dupree Nature Preserve for a good hike on the preserve's long trails. "There is varied habitat with a native grass stand, scenic overlook of the Kentucky River and a trail down to the river," says Morris. "You can see a wide variety of flowers in the spring and leaf colors in the fall." She is also known to stop at one of the preserve's picnic tables for lunch.