A Season of Change

Message From The Director

As we journey through life, whether it's in our personal adventures or professional endeavors, one thing remains constant-- change. Most changes creep up on us gradually, like the slow dance of time shaping our experiences and our lives. Other times, change arrives quickly, shaking things up like a surprising afternoon storm on an otherwise perfect day. Those sudden changes, like the storms, can be jarring and shock us, but in the end, provide the quick burst we need to move us along. And boy, have these last few years been filled with all sorts of storms for many of us!

Here at state parks, we are embracing the stormy winds of transformation with open arms and a dash of optimism, and we are showing it with two big changes this month!

First up, as we recognize the Earth Day 2024 theme “Planet vs. Plastic”, we're ditching some plastic! Yep, you heard it right. Say farewell to those pesky single-use plastic water bottles and plastic bags we have been selling and using in our retail operations, and hello to our new eco-friendly pals: paper bags and aluminum water bottles! It's about time we gave Mother Earth a high-five, don't you think?

Now, I know what you're thinking—you’re a bunch of tree huggers, what took you so long? Well, let's just say our internal Green Team has been giving us the ol' eco-nudge for years. When you combine that and the leadership of our Regional Chiefs [special shout out to Adin Fell (cue applause)], we're finally making the change. Was it convenient? No. Was it cheaper? Also no. Is it the right thing to do? Absolutely. So thank you to everyone who made it happen.

Next on the agenda, is a parking reservation just for you! Picture this, you're planning a beach day with the family, they’re coming from Florence or Columbia, and suddenly, parking has become less of a headache and more of a breeze. That's right, Myrtle Beach and Huntington Beach state parks are rolling out a shiny new reservation system for 20% of their parking spots! It's like having your own VIP pass to sandy bliss. Visitors will have the option to arrive first come first serve for most of the spots as they always have, but also the opportunity to guarantee their access and to ensure their trip is everything they want it to be. For visitors and staff alike this summer will be a learning curve, filled with unknown challenges and bumps in the road, but hey, we're all about embracing the unknown, right?

Change is hard. The parks we have today are not the same as the parks we had last year and won’t be the same next year. That is due to all of the little changes our teams make every day to better provide stewardship for our parks and service to our guests, our parks are in a continual state of improvement. We may have setbacks and even bumps in the road but park employees are resilient, creative, and tackle each challenge with creativity and gusto. Who knows what adventures lie ahead? One thing's for sure: with you by our side, the journey is bound to be unforgettable

Here's to embracing change, making some waves, and creating a world where parks are better tomorrow than they are today.


April 2024