Park Manager JW Weatherford
Park Service Profiles
Park Manager JW Weatherford grew up in Gaffney, South Carolina and graduated from North Greenville University with a degree in American Studies. After graduation, he was unsure of what direction he wanted to take his career when he was offered a position as a park ranger. Weatherford says, “I knew after the first week this was the career that I was made for!” His 13-year career has taken him across the state. Weatherford started his ranger career at Croft State Park and has worked his way through Sesquicentennial, Huntington Beach and Lake Wateree state parks before landing in his current position as manager at Hunting Island State Park.
As manager of Hunting Island State Park, Weatherford manages everything from retail operations to interpretation and education. He counts managing a busy beach destination, the only public accessible lighthouse in South Carolina, an excellent coastal trail system, the Friends of Hunting Island and St. Phillips Island among the high points of his job! We ask Weatherford what he finds most satisfying about his job and he said, “We are entrusted to be stewards of some of the best destinations that South Carolina has to offer. I get paid to work where over a million people pay to go on vacation each year.” His perspective, and enthusiasm for his job, was reflected throughout our interview and can be seen in his park.
Weatherford was quick to tell us what parks he’s worked at are his favorite- “Without question it has to be Huntington Beach and Hunting Island. Even though I was born in the upstate I found that I have salt water in my blood stream.” And to sum up his job in a phrase? “An ever changing career with numerous challenges and even more rewards.” Well said, Ranger Weatherford! Thank you for all you do!