Park Manager Jon Greider

Park Service Profiles

State park rangers always have to be prepared to deal with unusual challenges and the out-of-the-ordinary at work. Even after more than 10 years with the state park service, Edisto Beach State Park Manager Jon Greider still faces dilemmas, like this summer when he and a coworker had to wrangle a nine-foot alligator.

“My team worked hard together to make sure visitors were safe and the alligator was relocated unharmed,” says Greider.

Of course, this isn’t a typical day on the job at Edisto Beach. His daily duties as park manager are to oversee the daily operations of the park including enforcing park rules, training and supervising staff, ordering retail, and long and short term planning for special projects. He also ensures that all facilities are maintained, conducts public relations activities and works on maintenance projects with park staff.

An Illinois native, Greider found his way to South Carolina after earning his bachelor’s degree in forestry and outdoor recreation resource management from Southern Illinois University, and accepting an internship doing forest data collection with the South Carolina State Park Service. After completing his internship, he accepted a position as Assistant Ranger at Edisto Beach, and attributes his readiness to work as a state park ranger to his experiences recreating outdoors and working on projects with his father.

Greider says he’s known almost his entire life that he wanted to work in the outdoors.

“I spent much of my childhood outside playing and fishing every chance I got,” he says. “At age 15 I entered the workforce, working inside at a Ponderosa Steakhouse, and knew working indoors was not for me.”

For people searching for a job that’s exciting and always changing, whether it’s performing first aid on a scraped knee or repairing an assortment of maintenance issues, Greider says a career as a park ranger may be right up their alley.

“It’s not just a job,” he says. “It’s a lifestyle.”