Park Manager Bryn Harmer
Park Service Profiles
Not Just What I Do -- It's Who I Am
Bryn Harmer grew up vacationing and camping in state parks, which taught him to appreciate nature and to want to spend his life protecting and managing it.
“I was hiking at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana with my father, and I said to him that I wish hiking could be my job. He laughed and jokingly said that I ought to be a park ranger, and so I did,” Harmer said.
Originally from Illinois, Bryn received his associates degree in biology from Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, IL and a bachelor’s in forestry from Southern Illinois University.
After working at Lincoln Memorial Garden and Giant City, state parks in Illinois, Bryn found his way to South Carolina. He has worked at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Keowee-Toxaway State Park, was the manager for both Lee State Park and Woods Bay State Park and now holds the position of the Park Manager of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area with includes Caesars Head and Jones Gap state parks.
Bryn's responsibilities include supervising full-time rangers, budget planning and tracking, revenue collection and reporting, facility inspections, project planning and assisting staff with projects. The most satisfying aspect of his job is being accountable for resource management, which means he protects and maintains the natural, cultural and historical features of the parks on a daily basis.
“As park rangers and managers we are entrusted to care for some of the most beautiful and unique places in this state. Ensuring they are protected for future generations to enjoy and appreciate is very rewarding to me,” he said.
Bryn enjoys all state parks, but if he had to choose a favorite, it would be Mountain Bridge because of its 50 miles of trails and several geocaches. An avid hiker and geocacher he not only loves working there, but enjoys his days off there as well.
It’s because of his passion for protecting and enjoying nature that Bryn encourages others to become a park ranger, especially if they don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty. As for Bryn, he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
“Being a park ranger is not just what I do, it’s who I am.”