Check Off For Parks

Message From The Director

Tax time! Dreaded words I know, but this year, see it as an opportunity to make a difference for your state parks!

This year you can check off for SC State Parks, and your contribution will support natural and cultural projects that impact our visitors and ones you’ll recognize the need for.

Here’s an example of some of the projects on our wish list:

• Build new wildlife viewing platforms at Huntington Beach State Park. The park is one of the most popular birding destinations on the East Coast.

• Build an observation deck along the historic Table Rock Trail at Table Rock State Park.

• Renovate historic cabins at Camp Buckhorn at Paris Mountain State Park.

• Repaint the historic lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park.

It’s important to note that the money contributed will not be used for daily operations but only for physical improvements – great projects that will enhance our park system that otherwise would be postponed for years to come.

During challenging times it’s easy to wait it out but with challenges come opportunities. I was recently looking through some old meeting notes from the 1946 Park Superintendents Conference held in Columbia and found some interesting points that provided both inspiration and direction for the same Park System some 63 years later.

Remember this was the year after the Second World War, still an uncertain time for a new park system, but there was vision and the understanding that state parks are important and can impact our state in a positive way.

I particularly found the challenge to be prepared for the possibility of breaking the one million visitors mark in 1947 insightful, but perhaps the most profound were the words of P.R. Plumer, State Park director in 1942 and 1946-1948, as he explained the difference between recreation and amusement and our role to provide quality recreation programs and services to our visitors. Recreation he explains “is to renew in mind, body and spirit from work or toil, whereas amusement is to stare and be entertained."

The meeting ends with the challenge that, despite the uncertain times, there are tremendous opportunities for state parks to serve the citizens and visitors of our state and of the need to move forward and impact not only this generation but future generations as well. Connecting with our visitors on all levels.

I believe they were right.

Today, state parks can play a critical role in the quality of life for Palmetto State citizens. State Parks connect us to our past while providing us with a bridge to the future. Despite the times that we are in there are opportunities for our parks to respond to the challenges ahead and continue to make a difference.

So visit a state park and spread the word that state parks are great places “to renew your mind, body and spirit from work or toil." At tax time remember this unique opportunity to show your support for state parks while impacting future generations with just one check.

See you in the parks!