Park Manager Lonnie "Butch" Driggers
Park Service Profiles
The Best Career, Close to Home
H. Cooper Black Jr. Memorial Field Trial and Recreation Areacovers 7,000 rolling acres of longleaf pine forest and features stables, kennels, corrals, arenas, waterfowl ponds, campgrounds and a meeting hall. This national-level setting for field trial and retriever competitions is also the new home to Butch Driggers, the Park Manager since September of 2010.
Driggers has always loved the outdoors and people, so he knew early in life that he wanted to be a park ranger. A native of Cheraw, he didn’t have to go very far to find his career. Beginning as a part-time employee at Cheraw State Park, which is adjacent to H. Cooper Black, Butch soon became a ranger. He also didn’t have to go very far to find his wife, whom he met when she visited the park.
After four more years as the Assistant Manager at Cheraw, Butch moved on to H. Cooper Black and is responsible for operations and maintenance. His duties range from cleaning horse stalls and corrals to keeping the park clean, cutting back the trails and fields, doing paperwork and picking up trash all in one day.
Making sure that visitors have a good and safe experience is a top priority to Driggers, and he believes in working hard to make sure that happens.
“One of the most satisfying things about my job is knowing that everybody had a great timewhen they visited H. Cooper Black,” he said.
Butch has had many experiences that have prepared him for being a park manager. He’s gone through the police academy, ranger, maintenance and supervisor classes, as well as first aid and CPR. He has used his training as an arborist most extensively, pruning, taking down trees and even training others to be an arborist at other state park locations.
One work experience that really stands out for Butch is when he tried to help an older gentleman pull in a good-sized fish one frigid February morning. As Butch assisted, the man got so excited that he knocked Butch into the freezing waters.
Butch has witnessed many things in his 24 years with our state parks, and one of his greatest joys is being able to teach a new ranger everything he has learned. He wants them to have what he has, which is the “best career that any person could ever have.”