Volunteers in Parks Program

As part of the statewide Volunteers in Parks program, volunteers are working to protect, promote, and preserve Monterey State Historic Park’s historic resources. The park preserves an array of historic buildings in California’s earliest capital city and celebrates the cultural diversity of the Native Americans, Spanish, Mexicans, and Americans who shaped the area’s history.

Volunteers interpret life in early California through living history presentations offered periodically throughout the year, demonstrating rope making, cooking, dancing, embroidery, leather stamping, and storytelling. Volunteers also maintain the garden of the Cooper Molera Adobe and operate the Cooper Museum Store. Public access otherwise would be limited without this volunteer presence.

Park volunteers work with third and fourth grade students who explore life in early California during a hands-on living history program. Volunteers also lead summertime sessions where elementary school students spend a week at the park – dressed in period attire – participating in living history activities. They tour historical sites and buildings and participate in living history activities involving games, crafts, food, songs and dances, toys, and Spanish vocabulary.

All Monterey State Historical Park volunteers complete a 30-hour training class on the history of the park, living history interpretive skills and period attire. The program also offers continuing education for volunteers through field trips, lectures, and workshops.

In an innovative partnership, Monterey State Historic Park volunteers register for an independent study course with the Monterey Peninsula College, and the college then donates $1 for each volunteer hour of service to help pay for volunteer training and educational programs.

Designated a Preserve America Steward in January 2009.