Trades Specialist Donnie Creel

Park Service Profiles

Trades Specialist Donnie Creel

Doing a Job That He Loves

Donnie Creel knows how to find a good thing and stick with it.

After working in construction in his hometown of Ridgeville, he heard of a Park Tech position opening at nearby Givhans Ferry State Park. Creel landed the job and put his construction skills to good use.

“Anything that involves mechanical skills or working with wood is right up my alley,” Creel noted.

Donnie eventually moved to Colleton State Park as a Park Ranger (only a 21-mile paddle away from Givhans Ferry along the Edisto River) and a few years later worked on a Heavy Maintenance Crew, which travels from park to park. In 1998 Creel made his way back to Givhans Ferry where he has been ever since, making him an employee of South Carolina State Parks for 24 years now.

At Givhans Ferry he is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of all equipment, buildings and grounds which include camp sites, shelters, cabins, a community building, recreation fields and trails. Creel also educates State Park employees through stump grinding, arborist and chain saw training programs while also overseeing one staff person and volunteers or camp ground hosts.

When asked what he found so satisfying about his job that he could remain with the same organization for 24 years, Creel has a simple philosophy.

“Doing what you love makes it easy to stay so long,” Creel said, “I get to work with the public and take the time to do a good job so everyone can enjoy what the park has to offer.”