Administrative Assistant Lydia Kowalski

Park Service Profiles

Protecting Places Where Memories are Made

Lydia Kowalski’s favorite memories from childhood are spending time with her parents in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, her home state. Those trips were where her love for the outdoors took root, and where she decided a career outdoors best suited her.

“When I started college, I knew I wanted a job where I could protect our natural resources so other families could have a place in nature to create their outdoor memories as well,” she said.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Natural Resource Management at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Kowalski headed out west to take a temp position with Wyoming Game and Fish. When the job ended, she headed for the East Coast and landed a position as an assistant ranger at Myrtle Beach State Park. Kowalski has now been with the South Carolina State Park Service for six years, serving as a Ranger I at Kings Mountain State Park after leaving Myrtle Beach, and now as an administrative assistant at Huntington Beach State Park, where she’s worked for the past three years.

Working for a big park means there’s always a lot of work to be done, but Kowalski still finds enjoyment in her duties.

“I found working at Kings Mountain State Park to be the most fun, because I learned so much with a small staff and such a large park,” she says. “One of my most fun memories while working there was learning how to drive a stick.”

Besides being fun, Kowalski says her job is also rewarding.

“The most satisfying thing about my job is knowing that everything I do on a daily basis provides people access to a breathtaking place where they can get away from the daily stresses of life and make memories.”