Volunteers are essential to our mission, contributing approximately 15,000 hours of service annually at the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt historic homes and gardens. Each year our volunteers donate their time to help greet the public, conduct tours, and care for our gardens, enhancing the park visitor experience. Volunteering gives you hands-on experience in a national park—a chance to work with professional national park staff and to interact with the public and our visitors.
For more information about our volunteer programs, review the information on this page or contact the park volunteer coordinator at by email.
Garden Volunteers provide critical help that preserves the gardens and landscapes throughout the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt NHS for the enjoyment and education of the public. Activities include gardening, education, public outreach and historic preservation. Prior experience is not required. Come join us in the gardens! See below for location descriptions, schedules, and contacts.
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, Val-Kill
Managed by the National Park Service
Wednesdays: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Val-Kill Landscape Garden Volunteers assist with the restoration and maintenance of the Val-Kill gardens and landscape. Volunteers work under the direction of the park horticulturist. Val-Kill has an informal, country landscape that reflects Eleanor Roosevelt’s keen interest in all types of outdoor recreation to enjoy with friends, family and influential leaders, as well as her firm belief that one’s home landscape should also be productive. For more information contact the NPS Volunteer Coordinator by email.
The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
Managed by the National Park Service
Vegetable Garden: Tuesdays 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Rose Garden and Gravesite: Fridays 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Roosevelt Home Garden Volunteers assist with the maintenance of the historic Roosevelt vegetable garden, rose garden and Presidential grave site. Garden volunteers work under the direction of the NPS Home Garden Horticulturist. The vegetable garden features heirloom varieties grown by the Roosevelts and produces food for critical community programs that reflect the Roosevelt ideal of a healthy and equal standard of living for all Americans.The rose garden includes the grave site of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. The garden held a sentimental place in FDR’s heart, and, by personally designing the grave site, he ensured the preservation of his mother’s garden. For more information contact the NPS volunteer coordinator by email.
Beatrix Farrand Garden at Bellefield
Managed by the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association, a National Parks Partner
Tuesdays: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Saturdays: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
The Beatrix Farrand Garden at Bellefield is one of only a few surviving residential landscapes designed by the first female landscape architect in the United States, Beatrix Farrand. This perennial garden gem celebrates her outstanding creative legacy and contributes to visitors’ appreciation of the Hudson River Estate community that defined the Roosevelt’s Hyde Park lifestyle. Volunteers work under the direction of the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association Horticulturist. Beatrix Farrand Garden Association volunteers also assist with arts and education programs, fund raising and public outreach. Visit the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association website for more information.
Vanderbilt Mansion Formal Gardens
Managed by the F.W. Vanderbilt Garden Association, a National Parks Partner
Tuesday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
The Formal Gardens of the Frederick W. Vanderbilt Estate, are a spectacular example of Gilded Age gardening in the United States at the turn of the 20th Century. Italianate in style, the tiered garden includes annual display beds, perennial borders and a large, multi-level rose garden. Other volunteer opportunities are also available from planning and organization to leading garden tours. Visit the Frederick Vanderbilt Garden Association website for more information.
Tour Guide Volunteers
Tour Guide Volunteers introduce the public to the park's history and stories leading tours through our historic houses. We are currently accepting applications for new volunteers who we train to lead tours for school or adult groups. Candidates of all backgrounds are welcome. No prior training is required. Training is conducted by our knowledgable park rangers. Other volunteer opportunities include assisting park ranger guides with large tour groups, or answering questions and assisting the public in our park visitor centers. For more information, contact the park volunteer coordinator at by email.
Amtrak Trails & Rails Volunteers
Trails & Rails Volunteers share stories about national, state and local parks as well as places of interest onboard select Amtrak trains. The Trails & Rails partnership between Amtrak, the National Park Service, and Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University connects trains, parks, and people from the comfort of their seat or in a lounge car. Our park's program is hosted on Amtrak's Croton-Harmon, NY—Hudson, NY line. For more information on volunteering with the Trails & Rails program, contact Park Ranger Mike Autenrieth at 845-229-7770 or by email.
Archeological Monitoring Program Volunteers
Are you interested in archeological site stewardship? Would you like the opportunity to work in the national parks in your area? We are looking for motivated individuals interested in participating in a new pilot archeological monitoring program. Learn more.
Last updated: February 27, 2023