Ranger Jake Anthony
Park Service Profiles
Ranger Jake Anthony is a South Carolina native. Born in Easley, but raised in Pumpkintown, Jake graduated high school in 2006 and attended a technical college to become a police officer. After working a part-time job at Jones Gap State Park, Ranger Jake said, “I realized this was the job for me. I always wanted to either be a SCDNR officer or police officer, however working in the parks gave me the opportunity to work outdoors and be the link between visitors and the natural resources of the state.” You can now catch him at Poinsett State Park helping park visitors, fixing campsites and so much more.
Ranger Jake has been a ranger for 10 years and has worked at Jones Gap, Calhoun Falls, Lake Greenwood, and finally Poinsett state parks. "Each of these parks offered different goals and challenges, however, the basic job duties remain the same --providing a safe, clean, family-friendly environment for our visitors to learn and enjoy our state's most beautiful places,” he said. Out of all the parks Ranger Jake has worked in, he says that Jones Gap was the most fun to work at, in part because of the biological diversity, but also because he had the opportunity to meet one of his childhood heroes. “I met Rudy Mancke while he was there checking out the spring blooms for one of the master naturalist classes he brings through. Another famous I met person was Gary Player. At the time I had no idea who he was so we just shook hands and exchanged greetings, it wasn’t until another ranger told me he was a golf legend that I realized he was famous,” Ranger Jake said.
Park rangers come in contact with a lot of visitors, but some of those “visitors” don’t walk on two legs. Ranger Jake recounts a funny encounter he had with a very common visitor across all state parks. “One time I was changing out the dumpsters at Lake Greenwood State Park. Another employee and I were utilizing the compactor and the biggest raccoon in the world sprang out of nowhere and was sailing through the air at eye level with me. I couldn’t move as I was both in awe and terrified of a 30+ pound raccoon that was within inches of my face. The raccoon landed with a very loud grunt at my feet and sprinted as fast as its tiny little feet could go into the woods. From then on I always made sure both the raccoons and I had proper escape routes!” Ranger Jake said he would encourage others to become a park ranger because there are so many different opportunities to meet people and learn new skills that not only better the park but help you grow as a person as well.
Out of all the parks, Ranger Jake has worked and visited, he says he’s most eager to check Goodale State Park off the list. “I would like to wind through the cypress trees on the canoe trail, and fish the millpond,” Ranger Jake said.
When we asked him to describe his job as a park ranger in one phrase, he left us with the quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “The future depends on what you do today.”
Thank You Ranger Jake for your commitment to state parks, because of your hard work, many people will be able to enjoy the state parks today and for years to come.
Watch below to see first-hand, some of the tasks Ranger Jacob handles at Poinsett State Park: