The Roosevelt Vanderbilt National Historic Site seeks volunteer gardeners to assist with the restoration and maintenance of the landscape at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Val-Kill). Volunteers will work under the direction of the national parks’ horticulturist on projects throughout the landscape and gardens. The volunteer gardening program takes place on Wednesdays from 9 am – 12 pm.
Val-Kill was a favorite picnic retreat of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. Franklin suggested Eleanor build a home of her own on the site, and the project grew to include Val-Kill Industries, a furniture making textile and pewter crafts enterprise established to expand economic opportunities for local farmers. Activities at Val-Kill celebrated the outdoors and the gardens and grounds are a key part of the story of the Roosevelt’s private and public life in Hyde Park.
Gardening experience is not required. Anyone who enjoys working outdoors, with an interest in history, community service, and gardening will find a fun and satisfying outlet at Val-Kill.
To find out if volunteering at Val-Kill is for you, and to learn about the restoration plans, attend the informational meeting on Wednesday, April 15 at 10:30 am at the Val-Kill Playhouse at the site. To register for the meeting, call Anna de Cordova, NPS Horticulturist at 8450229-4218 or email Anna_DeCordova@nps.gov
Photo of Vall-Kill garden volunteers provided.