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Contact: Lauren Gurniewicz, 803-647-3969
Congaree National Park has announced a change to the hours at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center. Effective October 6, 2013, Visitor Center will be open 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Tuesday-Saturday, year-round.The facility will be closed on Sunday, Monday and all Federal Holidays.Visitors are encouraged to explore Congaree at any time, as the park's trails and campgrounds remain open 24 hours, 7 days per week. Law enforcement and emergency services operations will not be impacted by the new Visitor Center hours. The services will remain available to visitors 7 days per week.
Current budget realities have caused the park's management team to reevaluate the allocation of available resources."While an adjustment to Visitor Center hours is a big shift in how the park has been operating in the past, the management team feels these changes will ultimately improve interpretive operations and overall fiscal responsibility," said Superintendent Tracy Stakely. Modifying Visitor Center hours will allow the staff at Congaree to achieve multiple goals. Interpretive park rangers will have consistency in office hours to allow for improved opportunities for collaborative work and planning. Staff will also focus on increasing outreach efforts in the Midlands community while still maintaining Visitor Center operations.The park will achieve substantial savings in salary and utility costs that will offset the need for cuts in other areas to stay within the park's annual operating budget.
Volunteers-in-Parks will continue to assist park staff year-round in maintenance, administration, resource management and interpretation/visitor services. The increased community outreach activities will provide new opportunities for volunteers to assist at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center and with community events and programs. For more information about sharing your talents and becoming a volunteer at Congaree, contact Park Ranger Corinne Fenner, 803-647-3964 or Corinne_Fenner@nps.gov.
For additional information about Congaree, call 803-776-4396 or visit http://www.nps.gov/cong.Join Congaree National Park on social media: facebook.com/CongareeNP, twitter.com/CongareeNPS, flickr.com/photos/congareenps/, pinterest.com/congareenps and http://instagram.com/congareenps/.