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Volunteers-in-Parks (VIPS!)

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Rebeccah Cope

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Volunteers "keep the wheels turning" at Historic Yates Mill County Park! 

Last year, volunteers generously donated more than 1,800 hours of their time to the park. We certainly could not provide the well-received programs, events and other services that we do without their help!

Volunteers have assisted mainly in the following areas: mill interpretation during guided tours, corn-grinding demonstrations, selling cornmeal, cooking products made with Yates Mill cornmeal, conducting historical research, making historically accurate period clothing, storytelling, helping with nature programs, maintaining and constructing trails, teaching craft-making, and participating in the Big Sweep cleanup, among other activities.


Congratulations to Gary Coates, our 2015 Volunteer of the Year!

Gary Coates - 2015 Volunteer of the Year_web.jpg
Gary (seen here with our volunteer coordinator to the left and program director to the right) donated 147 hours of time to the park this past year – the most from any volunteer – and served as a mill guide and operator for a variety of mill tour types, plus he serves on the Board of Directors of Yates Mill Associates and even did some gardening and helped to make the park grounds look better. He's truly a-maize-ing! 


Welcoming our New Park Technician for Volunteer Coordination

A hearty welcome to Laura Ketcham, our new Park Technician–Education staff member for Historic Yates Mill County Park and Crowder District Park. Today is Laura's first day of work with Wake County. She will serve as an educator, volunteer coordinator and assist with many other roles associated with Yates Mill and Crowder. Her office will be at Historic Yates Mill County Park.
Laura comes to us from the NC Office of Archives and History, where she planned and coordinated workshops to help historic sites and museums across the state, in addition to researching and writing about useful grants, resources, workshops and projects of interest to members of the Federation of NC Historical Societies.
For several years, Laura served as the state coordinator for National History Day, a hands-on academic program that reaches more than 3,000 students across the state. Laura also gained a variety of experience in the fields of museums and historic sites at the NC Museum of History, Duke Homestead State Historic Site and the NC Collection Gallery at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Laura has also served as a volunteer docent at the NC State Capitol and continues to volunteer for special events at Duke Homestead.

Interested in volunteering at Historic Yates Mill County Park?

To learn more about becoming a Yates Mill park volunteer, please contact the park at 919-856-6675 or email

Upcoming Volunteer Activities  

Gardens & Trails Workdays
Saturdays, April 2, and May 7, 9 a.m.–noon
Help park staff and other volunteers to prepare and maintain the park's demonstration gardens, plant beds and trail corridors.
Training for New Mill Tour Volunteers
Sunday, April 3, 1–4 p.m.
Are you interested in helping to interpret Historic Yates Mill? If so, please plan to join park staff for a day of hands-on training to be held both in the park center and old mill. This program is required for any volunteers who wish to become mill interpreters. 

How Can You Help?

Program Assistants & Tour Guides:
Help to interpret Yates Mill’s ecology & history!
Might you enjoy teaching education programs and/or leading guided mill tours, and maybe even getting to dress in historic costumes? We can always use assistance for the park’s programs & would love to hear how you best think you can contribute to the park’s programming efforts.
Training for New Volunteer Mill Tour Interpreters is being scheduled on an as-needed basis.
Greeters for Visitor Center:
Help to make the park a friendly place for everyone!
Do you have a friendly nature & like being around people? We could use some help covering the visitor center reception desk, by providing basic park information to visitors & answering the phone, especially on weekends.
Training for Reception Desk Volunteers is being scheduled on an as-needed basis.
Gardeners & Garden Clubs:
Help to make Yates Mill more environmentally friendly!
Would you be willing to put your green thumb to good use by helping to care for some of the park’s plant beds? With your help, park staff can reduce the use of herbicides, and we can work together to keep the park looking good!



Find out what you can do to help out at Historic Yates Mill County Park.

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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 23.0
Created at 7/30/2012 8:37 PM by Rebeccah Cope
Last modified at 3/22/2016 9:30 AM by Stephen R. Walston





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