Grass Valley, Calif.—  Beginning March 3rd, California State Parks is hosting a multi-day training for volunteering at Empire Mine State Historic Park, South Yuba River State Park, and/or Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park.

Opening day at Empire Mine State park

A wide variety of volunteer activities are available at all three parks to match any interest, from public speaking to hands-on projects, indoors or outside:

Empire Mine SHP:

• Tour Leaders/Assistants: Lead or assist with Estate & Mine Yard Tours, Garden Tours, and/or Nature Trail Tours

• Trail Rovers: Answer visitors’ questions and keep trails clean while you hike through the beautiful forest

• Blacksmiths: Interact with visitors while you demonstrate making period ironwork to sell in our gift shop

• Gift shop: Meet people from around the world and financially benefit our park’s non-profit association

• School Tours: Lead and/or assist with 3rd-5th grade school programs

• Garden maintenance: help with gardening and maintenance of our Rose Garden and other Estate landscaping

• Living History: Wear Living History period clothing reproductions while giving Tours and/or staffing Special Events

• Special Events: Staff and/or assist with event setup and takedown for interpretive park events such as Miner’s Picnic.

South Yuba River SP:

• Visitor Center/Gift Shop: Greet and assist visitors to historical Bridgeport, and operate the non-profit’s gift shop.

• Gold panning: Teach visitors and students how to pan for gold

• School programs: Lead and/or assist with 3rd – 5th grade school programs

• Trail Rovers: Answer visitors’ questions and keep trails clean while you hike

Malakoff Diggins SHP:

• Town Tours: Lead or assist with tours to share the colorful history of North Bloomfield

• School programs: Lead and/or assist with 4th grade school programs

• Gold panning: Teach visitors and students how to pan for gold

• Living History Special Events: Help bring the town to life by staffing and/or assisting with annual events such as Humbug Day.

• Visitor Center: assist park staff with the gift shop and addressing visitors’ questions.

Training begins with a required 2-day Orientation held at Empire Mine SHP. Applicants can then attend the following on-site Activity Training days for any of the three parks that they are interested in volunteering at.

All training days are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will be offered on both Fridays and Saturdays. Trainees only need to attend one of the days each week; the Friday and Saturday trainings have the same content, except school program training is only included on Fridays.

Required Orientation Training dates (held at Empire Mine SHP):

Friday March 3rd or Saturday March 4th, AND

Friday March 10th or Saturday March 11th.

Empire Mine SHP Activity Training: Friday March 17th or Saturday March 18th

South Yuba River SP Activity Training: Friday March 24th or Saturday March 25th

Malakoff Diggins SHP Activity Training: Friday March 31st or Saturday April 1st

For more information about the three parks and volunteer opportunities, visit the parks’ webpages and their “Volunteer Programs” page:

An optional, informational Volunteer Program Open House will held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 25th at all three parks. Volunteers will be on hand to tell visitors about the volunteer activities they are involved with, and answer questions about the program. Park entrance fees are waived for event attendees.

Visitors may sign up for the training at the Open House event, on the Volunteer Programs webpage, or by contacting Sierra Gold Sector Volunteer Coordinator Jean Rhyne at (530) 273-7714 or