Spring Is Upon Us

Message From The Director

                Spring is upon us and just as we were starting to get comfortable in our new positions, different challenges and opportunities are coming at us.  Over the past six months we have learned a lot, both in the field as new employees settle in and in the office as so many people take on new responsibilities.  The team taking on the spring challenges is as good as we have ever had- in many ways it’s even better! We do much of our training in the winter months, so I have been able to speak to and interact with many members of our team. We have had conferences for rangers, managers and interpreters and provided training in first aid, defensive driving, law enforcement, customer service, tour guide training, data security and safety, just to name a few.  It has been a privilege to get to know so many members of our parks family even better. This group of men and women have varied backgrounds and experiences but are all full of passion and love what they do.  As they welcome you to the parks this year, I hope you get the opportunity to meet one or two of them and learn about their experiences.

                The team may be new, but the opportunities you will find in parks this spring include many of your traditional favorites.  There will be Founders’ Day at Charles Towne Landing, Twilight Paddling at Chester, and sunrise hikes at Table Rock.  You will once again have the opportunity to discover the Secrets of the Salt Marsh at Huntington Beach, enjoy the spider lilies at Landsford Canal or learn about the frontier as you tour a blockhouse built in 1792 at Oconee Station.  There will also be opportunities to try something new that you may not have had the chance to do in the past.  Maybe you will get to enjoy s’mores as you star gaze at Rose Hill or join a ranger at Lee for a bike ride.  As you get out and about this spring, I hope you take advantage of the adventures that await you in parks and spend some time with our dynamic team as they share the resources with you.

                The programs we offer in parks are intended to help you make lasting memories.  In my experience, seldom do we sit down with family and friends to discuss the movies we saw together last year, but many great conversations start with a “hey remember when we…”  At our table, those conversations are usually followed by laughter and merriment as we remember a unique experience we share. Those are the memories I hope we can help you create.  As Park Director, I get to visit many parks and meet many people and sometimes they recognize me.  More often than not this year, these visitors did not recognize me as the park director; they recognize me as that guy from the Palmetto Campout at Sesquicentennial! It is always rewarding when you get to hear about how a program you helped with made a memory for visitors. Participating in programs, whether as staff or as a guest, are some of the best memories we can make.

                So this spring I encourage you to try some of our program opportunities.  Grab your family, friends and neighbors, or meet some new people at a program.  Take time to create a memory that you can laugh about and enjoy, to experience something unique or learn to appreciate something in a new light. Our parks and our staff are ready for you!!