Park Manager Eugene Moore
Park Service Profiles
It's Not Just a Job
Colleton State Park has a lot of history, and so does its veteran manager. Eugene Moore has managed the special little place on the Edisto River near Walterboro since 1999 and has spent 24 of his 48 years with the South Carolina State Park Service.
At 35 acres, Colleton State Park is one of the smallest of the state parks but it has played a vital role in providing hundreds of thousands of paddlers and picnickers access to the beautiful blackwater river since it was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
And Moore plays a vital role in making sure the park continues to offer a welcoming place in the pines for folks looking for a peaceful getaway that’s affordable, clean and reliable, year after year.
“I love to see this park full of people having good, clean fun. I never get tired of seeing families come here to have a good time, and it makes me feel good knowing I have a part in making sure every day that it’s always that way.”
Colleton’s Annual Paddling Festival
Moore is in charge of both day-to-day operations and long-term planning at Colleton and said one of his favorite projects is helping the park host the annual paddling festival each June.
His partners in that endeavor are the members of the Edisto River Canoe & Kayak Commission, a group that also helped build the new Edisto River Resource Center & Ranger Station at the park in 2007. It helps solidify the park’s role as an information source for activities on the river, the longest undammed blackwater river in the country.
A “Can-Do, Welcoming” Attitude
Moore grew up in Ninety Six, SC and began his career with the parks as a summer maintenance worker at nearby Lake Greenwood State Recreation Center. He impressed his bosses with his can-do attitude and ability to learn new tasks and take on new responsibilities as he moved on to Kings Mountain State Park, Lee State Park and then Santee State Park before taking the manager’s job at Colleton.
Along the way, he’s also impressed visitors with his welcoming attitude and eagerness to make their visit to a state park as enjoyable as possible.
“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “I’ve learned how to do the business side of the parks – managing the people and paying the bills and planning the projects – but it’s really about the people who come to spend their time with us. That’s what really makes this job special.”
And living at parks over the years has made for a special life for Moore’s family – his wife, Sandra, and their five children, all now young adults.
“This is not just a job. It’s a way of life for me and my family, and I get paid for it,” Moore said. “What more could you ask?”
Since the initial publication of this article, Moore has retired from the South Carolina State Park Service.