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Get Involved

RanchKidsDays JodiApelt

Get your hands busy at Wilder Ranch, where the park’s educational programs depend on volunteers. Becoming a park docent is a great way to get involved and give back to your community. Once a year, park staff lead a series of in-depth training classes. After training, new volunteers give a minimum of six hours per month by hosting activity stations, conducting tours of the grounds and buildings in the historic complex, leading nature walks, and helping with special events.

Volunteers are especially needed to help with events, hikes, and weekday school groups. Weekday volunteers lead activity stations at Ranch Kids Days. With the help of volunteers, local students can forge iron in the blacksmith shop, examine the workings of the water-powered Pelton wheel, groom horses, churn butter from fresh cream, bake muffins and cookies, prepare vegetable soup on the wood-burning oven, shuck corn to feed to the chickens, and do laundry using bar soap, a grater, tubs, washboards, wringers and an old-fashioned iron. The day is an unforgettable lesson in local history.

Volunteers spinning Jodi Apelt

To share your time to make these programs possible, please call the park at 831-426-0505. 

You may also wish to support nonprofit groups working on behalf of this park, including Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks and Save the Redwoods League. On the League’s website, you can learn about other ways to get involved in redwoods protection—including taking a pledge, entering a photo contest, or becoming a citizen scientist.