‘Warner’s my place’

By Heather Bradley

She ventured down into Castle Canyon, her dad and brothers on her trail. She wasn’t sure if it was going to be a 20-minute hike or an 8-hour hike, but it didn’t matter. In that moment, she knew.

She was never going to stop exploring.

She sat in front of her third-grade teacher with her parents, unsure of what to expect. She then heard, “she’s going to be a poet someday, she just knows how to write.” She no longer felt unsure. She knew.

She was going to be a writer.

She was waist deep in snow, trying to summit Stormy Peak with her new friends. They had completely lost the trail, but they didn’t care, they were having a blast. Surrounded by her new college friends, she knew.

“Warner’s my place; it’s my home.”

Brigid McCreery is a Warner College of Natural Resources student studying Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and Journalism. Tomorrow, though, she’ll have two CSU degrees – a B.A. and a B.S. Her two majors intertwine perfectly to meet a specific mission: “The concept of sustainability needs to be communicated better,” she said.

A hot pink camera, a need to explore

While she was surprised by the path she took, looking back, it was no surprise at all. Her love of nature and knack for writing created the trail for her. She first got published in 2014 and has continued to write ever since. She is currently a communications intern at Warner College and a sustainability associate at the Institute for the Built Environment.

She is constantly writing new pieces and finding new ways to express herself. One mode of creative expression is photography. McCreery has loved photography since she got a point-and-shoot camera when she was 13. While she has since upgraded from her hot pink camera, her love for photography has never changed. She loves doing photo shoots and hiking up to spectacular views to capture the images that have captivated her since she was a child.

She has also never stopped exploring, a fact her 8-year-old self would be happy to hear. She’s always taking day hikes or weekend backpacking trips. McCreery just loves to be outside. As her love became a passion, she found herself searching for new ways to communicate the importance of sustainability. It is not enough just to enjoy nature; she needs to protect it. She wants to be sure the generations that come after her can experience the same connection to the planet that she holds so dear. Convincing others of this important mission is much easier said than done.

“There’s a gap between the scientific aspects and the practice of it,” McCreery said. “I want to figure out a way to bridge that gap.”

Honoring those who inspired her

As president and vice president of Warner’s College Council and the recipient of the ESS Student of the Year award, McCreery is already making strides to build that bridge between understanding and action. While she doesn’t have all the answers, she knows this is a goal worth fighting for. She also knows that she can’t do it alone.

“I want to figure out how to collectively work on these things,” she said. Warner College has given her and her community a place to come together and advocate for sustainable practices.

Courtney Naumann has been an advocate for sustainability and an influential person in McCreery’s life. Naumann was the president of College Council during McCreery’s freshman year, and Naumann became a mentor to her soon after. Naumann’s influence is what prompted McCreery to get deeply involved in Warner College. This involvement helped to give McCreery a sense of place in the halls of Warner and contributed to her deep sense of purpose.

“She showed me how to build your community and surround yourself with people you care about,” McCreery said. “It was amazing to have that inclusive, enthusiastic thing happen my freshman year.”