Regional Chief Mark Davis

Park Service Profiles

A Park Ranger at Heart

Mark Davis has a great deal of responsibility under his belt as the Regional Chief for the Lakes Region parks. As a regional chief he oversees the day-to-day operations in multiple parks, both in the office and out in the field and acts as a liaison between the lakes region parks and the central office in Columbia.

The Columbia native has known since high school he wanted to work in the state park service, and upon graduating moved to Clemson to begin working on his bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. While in school, Davis worked as an intern for SCPRT and also did part time maintenance work at Greenville’s Paris Mountain State Park.
After graduating from Clemson, he continued to work at Paris Mountain but was hired on full time as a Ranger I. Davis says looking back on the parks he’s worked at up to date, he can say Paris Mountain was his favorite to work at.

“It was my first park and we had a great staff that all worked well together and interacted after work as well.”

Davis soon began working his way up in the park system and was hired as a Ranger II at Hickory Knob State Resort Park, a Ranger III at Santee, Assistant Park Manager at Huntington Beach, and as Park Manager at Dreher Island before landing his current position as the Regional Chief.

On any given week the responsibilities are numerous but not limited to performing site inspections, planning and detailing projects, initiating operational changes, conducting site audits, and assisting park managers with the hiring process. In such a busy role the to-do list is never over but Davis says he gets satisfaction from checking off multi-year projects off his list and seeing park guests taking pleasure in their stay.

Constantly having to multi-task and jump from project to project and park to park can take a toll, but Davis still enjoys what he does. Despite the hard work and eventful days, he’d still encourage others to consider a career in the park service if they felt the calling.

“You know in your heart if you’re supposed to be a park ranger,” said Davis.