Historic Yates Mill Public Programs

programmer teaches on wooden pond boardwalk while visitors fish with cane poles

Historic Yates Mill County Park offers programs covering history, nature, agricultural and recreational topics. Public programs are open for registration to the general public.

We are happy to announce the launch of our virtual public programs! Find a few of them below!

Public Programs

Register for a Public Program

IN-PARK PUBLIC PROGRAMS

History Hike (Activity #10104)
Saturday, Sept. 18, 10–10:45 a.m.
Join us for a hike to the gristmill and to the site of the miller’s residence (which is no longer standing) to learn about the history of some of the people who have lived and worked on the land that is now a park. We will learn about the old water mill but will also look for clues to buildings that used to be here, and we’ll use artifacts to talk about some of the people who lived, worked, or visited here. This program will be completely outdoors, so please dress appropriately for the weather and bring a water bottle. For ages 7 & up (the program is designed for kids and adults). Registration is required.

Seasonal Birding Hike (Activity #10111)
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 9–10 a.m.
Come join us as the 'early bird gets the worm' in this engaging bird walk with a park naturalist. As we sneak through the park, we will be on the lookout for some of the awesome bird species that live here, at Historic Yates Mill County Park, and learn about what makes them so unique, how to identify them among other birds, and much more! Be sure to bring binoculars if you have them, or you can borrow a cleaned pair from us. For ages 8 & up; FREE. Registration is required for all participants and adult supervision is required for all children.

Cane Pole Fishing (Activity #10076)—THIS PROGRAM IS FULL
Sunday, Sept. 26, 1–1:45 p.m.
Are you interested in the fish you can find in our pond and how to catch them? Join us for an hour of hands-on fishing fun where we teach you about the basics of fishing using cane poles and will take you out to the pond boardwalk to fish! We will also have a short introduction where we cover the different fish you can find in our pond, how to put a worm on a hook, and important safety rules to have in mind when out fishing. This program is great for beginners who are interested in fishing. For ages 6 and up; FREE. Registration is required for all participants and adult supervision is required for all children.

Geology Rocks! (Activity #10135) 
Thursday, Oct. 7, 10–11:30 a.m. 
Sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks are everywhere! Come explore the rocks of Yates Mill through hands-on science. Test the physical and chemical components to discover the identity of a few rocks then play the rock cycle game. Learn how rocks have been used in milling grains and try out a stone hand mill before taking a hike to the mill dam to discover its geologic foundation. For ages 7 & up; FREE. Registration is required for all participants.

Cane Pole Fishing (Activity #10137)
Saturday, Oct. 9, 3–4 p.m.
Are you interested in the fish you can find in our pond and how to catch them? Join us for an hour of hands-on fishing fun where we teach you about the basics of fishing using cane poles and will take you out to the pond boardwalk to fish! We will also have a short introduction where we cover the different fish you can find in our pond, how to put a worm on a hook, and important safety rules to have in mind when out fishing. This program is great for beginners who are interested in fishing. For ages 6 and up; FREE. Registration is required for all participants and adult supervision is required for all children.

Take Me to the State Fair (Activity #10133) 
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 10–10:45 a.m.
October is the season for the State Fair. Learn about the origins of this state tradition and the history behind some of its tasty treats and favorite events. We will read a story outside, play a game, and take home a fun craft. For ages 5–7; FREE. Registration is required for all participants and adult supervision is required for all children. This program will be completely outdoors, so please dress appropriately for the weather and bring a water bottle.

The Little Red Hen (Activity #10134)
Friday, Oct. 22, 10–10:45 a.m.
Relive the beloved story of the Little Red Hen, then take a trip to the water mill to gather ingredients for an imaginary loaf of bread. Though we will not be able to go inside the mill, we will stop along the way to touch the millstones and will visit the waterwheel. For ages 4–6; FREE Registration is required for all participants and adult supervision is required for all children. This program will be completely outdoors, so please dress appropriately for the weather and bring a water bottle.

Fall Leaves Hike (Activity #10136) 
Saturday, Oct. 23, 3–4 p.m. 
Ever wonder why Mother Nature puts on such a display of colors in the fall—from bright yellow and orange, to rusty red, and purple? Explore this amazing annual event during a guided hike and discover what these natural colors tell us about the environment. For ages 4 & up; FREE. Registration is required for all participants, and adult accompaniment is required for all children. This program will be completely outdoors, so please dress appropriately for the weather and bring a water bottle.

Pumpkin Painting (Activity #10139) 
Wednesday, Oct. 27, 10–11 a.m. 
Would you like to come paint a pumpkin for the holiday with park staff? We will have paints and the pumpkin, but we are in great need of artists! Come join us and get excited and in the holiday spirit! Happy Halloween! We will talk a bit about pumpkins and late summer planting for gardens. For ages 5 & up; FREE. Registration is required for all participants, and adult accompaniment is required for all children.

STORYWALK®

Read a children’s book while you enjoy a nature walk. The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.

Are Trees Alive? 
From September 2 through September 30 
Our September story is “Are Trees Alive?" written by Debbie S. Miller and illustrated by Stacey Schuett. This beautiful picture book offers a poetic comparison of plants and humans and shows how trees live, grow, and get their food. Join us for this fun self-guided activity, which will start at the parking lot kiosk near the Visitor Center and end near the mill.

Over in the Forest
From October 1 through October 31
Our October story is “Over in the Forest," written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin. This lovely picture book invites you to count the animals that live in the forest, where beavers build, turkeys scratch, and squirrels leap. Join us for this fun self-guided activity, which will start at the parking lot kiosk near the Visitor Center and end near the mill.

Upcoming Virtual Programs

Mill Power (Activity #10112) 
Thursday, Sept. 23, 2–3 p.m.
Explore basic engineering aspects of our historic mill and the systems of simple machines that make it work. Learn how simple machines helped to power the 260-year-old grist mill and how they are incorporated into commonplace objects that we use every day. Staff will wrap up the program by walking down to the old mill to provide an up-close view of the 12-foot-tall wooden waterwheel and main power train. For ages 7 & up; FREE. Registration is required.

SEEK and Discover (Activity #10141)
Monday, Oct. 18, 2–3 p.m.
Are you a family up for adventure or just young at heart? Join us online for a SEEK by iNaturalist exploration. Our park staff will travel around the park and demonstrate how to use the application to identify wildlife. We will count species instead of steps during our adventure. Before the program, please download the SEEK app on your smart phone so you can try it out, too. We ask that parents sign up for the program with the children. For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for all participants. A Zoom link will be sent out by email on the morning of the program.