The Friends of Harkness Memorial State Park, Inc.
Waterford, Connecticut
Volunteer with Us - Current Opportunity

Harkness Family Day - Volunteers Needed

Once again, the Friends of Harkness and DEEP park staff will welcome the public to Harkness Family Day. This annual event features activities, fun, and food for children of all ages. Volunteers are needed to set up tables and chairs, etc. for the various venues near the Carriage House and for the Rose Tea at the Mansion. Many hands will make light work for only a couple of hours of your time beginning at 8 am for the setup or 4 pm for the pickup and put away. To volunteer, call Chris Callahan at 860-444-1364 or email at

The Rose Tea will take place the same day from 11:30 - 2:00 on the terrace of the Eolia mansion. Volunteers and food donations for this elegant tradition are welcome. To sign up please email Edwina Presley at or leave a phone message at 860-739-4386.

We are happy to see “old” volunteers, and welcome new ones to join our ranks. Staff levels are very low, so we need volunteers more than ever—for spring and summer garden work. Also to give tours at Eolia, to write or edit for the Eolian, to help out at our tea and other events. Think you are unskilled to be a decent docent or a green gardener? No worries. We train. Call 860-437-1523 if you are interested.


Contact the Friends office 860-437-1523


Each of our key events requires many more volunteers. We don’t want to beg for people at the last minute, so please let us know your interest now, and help assure our activities bring continued success for the Park. Those of you who’ve helped out with these events in the Park help us have some continuity, and we especially welcome your return.

Plant Sale
Harkness Family Day & Rose Tea
Friends' Summer Picnic
Historic Garden Day
Fall Garden Cleanup
Harkness Holiday Party


Friends of Harkness phone: 860-437-1523 or email

Leave a message with your name and contact number and you will be contacted by the head of each program.


We know many of you enjoy the beauty of the Harkness Gardens. While they are beautiful to look at, it takes a tremendous amount of hands- on effort to keep them looking their best. The Friends of Harkness boasts a cadre of enthusiastic gardeners who work in the gardens every Wednesday (weather permitting) from spring through fall. During the winter months, they can be found in the warmth of the new greenhouse, busily propagating plants for the summer gardens.

You do not need to know anything about gardening. You will be taught everything you need to know. You will need to bring a pair of garden gloves, sunscreen (for outside work) and a hat. You should wear old clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Friends garden volunteers are currently focusing on the East Garden where Mary Harkness' fragrant heliotrope is planted. New volunteers are always welcome to work in the gardens.

February 1 - April 15
Wednesday mornings  9:00 am - noon
Meet in the greenhouse

April 15  - November
Wednesday mornings  9:00 am - noon
Meet in the East Garden, weather permitting


Friends of Harkness volunteers receive training to lead tours through the mansion on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day and on Harkness Family Day in September. Upon request, special tours for large groups during the week may be arranged in advance depending on the availability of the volunteer docents. 

FOH is looking for an individual with good organizational skills to coordinate and schedule the Mansion Docents. You do not have to be on site but you need to certain that the scheduled docents are there and that they coordinate with the park staff to open and close the building.

Mansion Tours are currently ON HOLD until we have new docents in place and trained. SEEKING new volunteers!

Summer Hours

Saturdays 10:00 - 1:30
Sundays  10:00 - 1:30
Holidays 10:00 - 1:30


Do your interests lie in the entrepreneurial arena? If yes, the FOH has a gift shop that can use your skills. The Gift Shop sells Harkness-related items and other gifts appropriate to the theme of the park. Ice cream and chilled bottled water are also available for those hot summer days. The Gift Shop is expected to be open for Plant Sale Day, Memorial Day weekend, then Saturdays and Sundays through Harkness Day in September. Hours are currently 11AM-3PM but may move to 12noon-4PM.

The gift shop coordinator organizes about 10 volunteers to staff the operation, but more volunteers are needed. If you wish to help, call Friends of Harkness at (860) 437-1523 and leave your name and phone number and a brief message. You will be contacted as soon as possible.

Summer Hours
Saturdays 10:00 - 4:00
Sundays  10:00 - 4:00
Holidays 10:00 - 4:00

Website Builder