Historic Yates Mill Volunteer Opportunities

Group of costumed volunteers stand together in front of old wooden mill

Historic Yates Mill County Park couldn’t operate without the gracious assistance of many members of the public and organizations that volunteer. Learn more about volunteer opportunities below.

Become a Volunteer!

How to Apply

Group of costumed volunteers stand together in front of old wooden mill

Yates Mill served Wake County as a water-powered mill for more than 200 years. Of the 70 gristmills that once served Wake County, volunteers "keep the wheels turning" at Historic Yates Mill County Park! Last year, volunteers generously donated more than 2,500 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.

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 [email protected].

To apply, first download and complete the park's Volunteer Application.

Volunteer of the Year

picture of park volunteer with ball cap on inside of exhibit hall

Every year we award and thank our volunteers. We also have a volunteer of the year award that is given out.

Congratulations to Sam Ray, Historic Yates Mill’s 2020 Volunteer of the Year! Sam uses his photography skills to take pictures of and identify the flora and fauna of both Historic Yates Mill and Crowder County parks. Park staff have used Sam’s images in educational programs, marketing materials, Wake County’s Natural Resources Inventory Database, and on Facebook.

 In 2020, when park staff had to pivot from offering in-person programs to online education, Sam volunteered to help park staff with educational videos. He provides beautiful and engaging film footage of scenes in the park that we then incorporate into our videos. Park staff are deeply grateful to Sam for sharing his time and talent with the park. Thank you, Sam!


Upcoming Volunteer Activities

Volunteer Interest Session 
Sunday, Aug. 22, 2–3 p.m.
Want to do more to help your community park? Do you like history, the environment, agriculture and/or the arts? Consider volunteering at Yates Mill! Join us anytime during the program time to gather information about the exciting ways you can lend a hand. Registration is not required. Call our volunteer coordinator at 919-856-5378 for details.

Garden & Trail Workdays
To be scheduled as needed; please call for details.
We could use your help preparing the park's gardens and plant beds for spring growth and assisting with the upkeep and enhancement of our wildflower demonstration plots and naturally surfaced hiking trails. We hope you will consider volunteering in this way, which helps to beautify the park and educate the public. For ages 16 & up.

Program Assistants & Tour Guides

Woman sits in chair by mill in historical outfit

Help to interpret Yates Mill’s ecology and 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 and 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 and like being around people? We could use some help covering the visitor center reception desk, by providing basic park information to visitors and answering the phone, especially on weekends.

Training for Reception Desk Volunteers is being scheduled on an as-needed basis.

Gardeners & Garden Clubs

group of volunteers stand in forest with trash bags

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!