Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park

Just For Kids

Our children are our greatest natural & cultural resource. The park mission "…to preserve and protect for…future generations." is aimed directly at our kids and their descendents. At Congaree National Park, kids can walk the boardwalk and trails or join us on our guided walks and canoe trips or picnic, camp and fish.

Today's children need to reconnect more with their natural world in structured and non-structured ways. There are few better ways to do this than by immersing themselves in the park's forest wilderness. Scouting groups, and others have already pitched in on helping to clean up the park picnic grounds and trails during our Public Lands Day event and other community service projects. In this way children become good stewards of our park and our natural world.

Also, school groups regularly attend guided walks and other ranger led programs as part of their curriculum oriented education. Park staff members coordinate teacher workshop field trips with other state agency and area school partners. Also, the park Junior Ranger Program helps kids connect with Congaree National Park.

Be A Junior Ranger

Are you 12 years old or younger?

Are you interested in being a "great discoverer?"

Do you have 3 hours to spend at Congaree National Park?

Then YOU could be a Congaree Junior Ranger!

To become a Junior Ranger, head out to the Congaree National Park Visitor Center and ask for your free copy of the Junior Ranger Workbook.

When you have completed all requirements for your chosen level, you and a parent or other adult must sign the back of the workbook. Then take your completed workbook to the Visitor Center to receive your certificate and an award.

Fun Facts from the Junior Ranger Booklet

National Park Service

The National Park Service is a part of the federal government of the United States. It was created in 1916 to protect and preserve the outstanding natural, cultural and historical areas of this country for the people of the United States. The National Park Service preserves over 380 of these special places in monuments, parks, battlefields, and along seashores in just about every state.

What is a Ranger?

A Ranger's job is to protect and take care of the park, so your grandchildren can see the same kinds of trees and birds you saw. They teach people how special these parks are, enforce important rules, and build trails to make sure plants and animals are not hurt by visitors.

Law Enforcement Division

Law Enforcement Rangers make sure the park is safe for plants and animals, as well as for people.

Maintenance Division

Maintenance Rangers keep the park clean and safe for visitors and for the plants and animals that live here. Maintenance Rangers keep the trails open, build and repair the park's boardwalks, maintain the building's, and ensure the park is neat and clean.

Resource Management Division

A Resource Management Ranger keeps track of what is found in the park, identifies threats and recommends solutions. That includes making lists of animals and plants, finding out about any problems and learning as much as possible about the land and water resources in the park.

Interpretive Division

Rangers of this division are called Interpreters or Naturalists. These Rangers answer questions and educate visitors.

Administrative Division

The Administrative Division of the park is made of men and women not often seen by visitors. They work in offices and see to the smooth running of the park. These are some of their duties.


Each park has someone in charge of all of the divisions. This person is called the superintendent and is like the principal of a school. He or she is responsible for making sure the Rangers do their jobs well. The Superintendent oversees the protection of all resources of the park.

Lunch Time

What did you bring for lunch? Where did you get it? We buy food for our meals in supermarkets. Where do animals get their food? The forest is their supermarket, and they have plenty of choices. This is why people should not feed animals in the park. Animals are used to their own food and may get very ill from eating our food. Animals don't need to eat cookies, bread or potato chips any more than people need to eat grass, bark or beetles.

Do Trees Have Knees?

In the Congaree there are many cypress trees. They have shaggy bark and light green needles in the summer months. Around them you will see something called cypress knees. The knees are cypress roots that have grown away from the tree and up into the sunlight. They will never grow into new cypress trees. Scientists think cypress trees use the knees for anchors during strong winds or floods and possibly as snorkels to give the trees additional oxygen when growing in the wet soil.

R.I.P. (Rot In Peace)

When trees fall in a wilderness area, they are left alone to provide food and shelter for plants and animals. Think about what a downed tree does to help the floodplain and its animals.