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Rust College

In the spring of 2015, Ernest Morris III (Trey) volunteered at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center as part of our growing partnership with Rust College in Holly Springs, MS. As an English major with aspirations of becoming a motivational speaker, Trey used his talents and passion to familiarize Holly Springs and the general public with Strawberry Plains and their conservation work, through a series of experiential essays.  Enjoy those essays below and stay tuned for future work with Rust College via website, newsletter and Facebook page.

Trey's lineage may stretch across oceans and continents, but he considers the watersheds of southwestern Tennessee home. He spent his childhood alternating between urban and rural life, attending school in Memphis and spending his summers in Eads, TN, exploring his grandfather's rural acreage.  Such a dichotomy is not lost on Trey, whose ancestry includes African slaves and Irish immigrants, as well as Native American, Cherokee origins.  

Trey's first introductory essay is titled "The Soul of Strawberry: Reconnecting with Nature"

In preparation for his second writing assignment, volunteer Trey Morris reached Mitch Robinson, for direction and guidance. Having familiarized himself with the broad conservation programming and outreach facilitated by Strawberry Plains, Trey was seeking a medium that would help him synthesize the inherent importance of such work while remaining germane to the casual reader.  The growing physical divide between the “domestic” and “wild,” as well as our imposed perception of it, is a conception that influences our resource use, farming techniques, consumer habits and general affinity toward the world beyond our front door and the next big-box store. When describing a “loss of context” or “sense of place,” it’s difficult to not become mired in doom and gloom culture that is often affiliated with environmental struggles. Yet, as Trey discovered through an introduction to the work of Wendell Berry, this disjointed perception is merely a modern narrative, a consequence of a “human economy.”
                In the following piece, Trey traces the evolution of his own convictions about community, and what it means to start simply and close to home. In his words:  "I was inspired to produce this piece from the influence of Wendell Berry a legend in the society of nature. After reviewing his most popular articles I saw that he proposed a question; so I decided to try to answer it with the best of my knowledge and ability. It was a journey with many twists and turns leading to the drawing board many times over. My original piece changed more than four times. I was inspired by not only the acts of Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, but also the recent change in the Holly Springs community. With the help of the Chairman of Humanities of Rust College Dr. McLeod; the once solo project became a collaboration and a song was created, called "An Undefiled Courtship" uncovering the beautiful diamond wrapped around the coal like figure." 

Trey's closing essay is titled "An Undefiled Courtship"

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