Hot fun in the summer sun

Are your kids suffering from the mid-summer doldrums? How about you?

Nature camps at Yates Mill

Keeping cool - and busy - on Yates Mill Pond

The staff of Historic Yates Mill County Park has plenty for you all to do, from family canoeing and fishing, to playing games that would have been familiar to kids visiting Yates Mill a century ago, to an after-dark hike through the park’s woods.

A wide variety of adult workshops and kids’ summer camps are going on now at Historic Yates Mill County Park and Crowder District Park. Yates Mill park staff worked with Brian Bockhahn — a State Parks Education Ranger — to produce adult programs focused on winter waterfowl and migratory birds; the relationship between the land, people and food; and invasive plants and animals in the park. Adults can explore wildlife and water quality in Yates Mill Pond’s watershed in a program planned for Aug. 16.

Kids can enjoy several hourlong nature and history programs over the next couple of months. Want more fun? Multi-day camps are a special treat at Yates Mill. Kids enjoyed the annual “Art in Nature” camp in June, and another summer camp for “Young Farmers” will take place at Yates Mill and Historic Oak View County Park on July 22-25. One more summer camp, for 8- to 10-year-old “Time Detectives,” is scheduled for Aug. 5-9.

For details and preregistration for programs at Yates Mill, visit the park’s website. The Wake County parks website has information on youth camps being offered at all the county’s facilities.

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Like to volunteer? Be a Yates Mill VIP!

By the staff of Historic Yates Mill County Park

Park technician Hilary gives a kids' tour

The staff of Historic Yates Mill County Park have been working with Yates Mill Associates to recruit, train and oversee the work of a variety of “VIPs” – that is, Volunteers-in-Parks. We certainly could not provide the well-received programs, events and other services that we do without their help!

Volunteers assist mainly as mill interpreters during guided tours, at corn-grinding demonstrations and selling cornmeal. They cook products with Yates Mill cornmeal, conduct historical research, and make historically accurate period clothing. They tell stories, help with nature programs, maintain gardens and construct trails. They teach crafts, and they participate in the park’s Fall Harvest Celebration event and the Big Sweep cleanup efforts. There’s probably more than that, but you get the idea!

Sound like fun? Please join us! There’s a Volunteer Interest Session coming up Monday, Aug.19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. You can also call the park’s volunteer coordinator, Jennifer Miller, any time at (919) 856-5378, or email the park at for details.

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Park welcomes NCSU alumni

Wolfies in the house! Michelle Schroeder-Moreno in the park visitor center displaying information about the NCSU Agro-Ecology Farm.

N.C. State University has a long association with Yates Mill, dating to the University’s acquisition of the mill and surrounding property in the early 1960s. Alumni and their families recently got a personal tour of the mill and park — and an invitation to get even closer.

The “Kick Back to Give Back” event on May 4 was organized and hosted by park staff, the NC State Alumni Association and NC State University’s Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratories (including the Agro-ecology Demonstration Farm and the Dairy Enterprise System), along with Yates Mill Associates.

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Honors for YMA leaders

John Vandenbergh

John Vandenbergh

Two of the people who played key roles in protecting Yates Mill have been honored for their positive impact on our community, one as a leader in education and scientfic research, and the other as an advocate for the arts, historic preservation, health care and youth organizations.

Former YMA president John Vandenbergh and the late Katherine “Kit” Boney have been honored by N.C. State’s retired faculty and the Raleigh Hall of Fame, respectively, for their many contributions to our area and to society at large.

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Welcome – or welcome back – to park’s new full-timers

A couple of familiar faces will be with us more often at Historic Yates Mill County Park. YMA is pleased to join the park’s leadership in welcoming Jennifer Miller and Amy Dombrowski to new full-time positions as Park Technicians-Programming for both Historic Yates Mill County Park and Crowder District Park.

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