Volunteer with the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery
Do you have a passion for history?
Enjoy meeting new people?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, volunteer with the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery and join the best group of volunteers around! We have something for everyone!
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
There Are Many Ways You Can Help!
Tour Guide Program
Join our tour guide program as a Tour Guide Apprentice and become a certified tour guide at Historic Mount Hope Cemetery! Tour guides are an integral part of our team! They engage the public on scheduled walking tours by sharing the history and stories of the many residents of Mount Hope Cemetery.
- Candidates for the Tour Guide Apprentice Program must commit to 1-2 tour seasons as an apprentice and complete the requirements for training and development. Independent study, research is required.
- Tour Guide candidates must be able to stand/walk, often on uneven/unpaved areas, for periods up 120 minutes.
- Minimum age 18 years.
- Training guidelines, mentorship, and continuing educational opportunities are provided.
- Apprentices will participate in ensemble tour programs, Pop-Up Historian events, and public tour presentations to gain experience and practice.
- Flexible schedules! The apprentice program may be accelerated based on the performance of the candidate.
- Experience in public speaking, education, group engagement, storytelling, and a love of history are helpful.
- Upon completion of the apprentice program, graduates become a certified tour guide. Certified guides go on to lead public tours, student & scout tours, private tours, & participate in programs & special events. Tour guides also help research and develop new tour material. Tour guides generally volunteer 3-6 hours per month, more if you are willing.
Join our history storyteller group as an Ensemble Program Member and participate in a group facilitated event at Historic Mount Hope Cemetery! This opportunity allows for an individual to research & present on a single person/site as part of a group facilitated program. These speaking roles are designed for those who are looking for a shorter project, want to gain experience and confidence in historic storytelling, and who cannot commit to the tour guide apprentice program.
Candidates must commit to researching and presenting on 1-2 individuals/sites as part of a larger group for a themed program or ensemble tour.
- Candidates must be able to stand/walk, often on uneven/unpaved areas, for periods up 90 minutes.
- Minimum age 18 years.
- Instruction & mentorship provided. A group meeting may be required prior to event.
- Flexible schedules!
- 2022 Ensemble Programs dates: July 16, August 27, & October 15 (shift min. 2 hours)
- Experience in public speaking, group engagement, research/writing, and a love of history are helpful.
Logistics Volunteers & Tour Escorts
It takes many hands to make a successful event! Consider a support role for the Ensemble Programs. They are non-public-speaking roles.
Logistics volunteer: set up/tear down; offers directions to public; map distribution; sign placement in cemetery; errand runner, monitors crowd sizes at historian locations; answers basic questions, etc.
Tour escorts: Our ensemble tours may need tour escorts to lead groups of 15 people to the various stops along the established route. Escorts will travel from site to site with group, listening to presentations graveside. The escort stays with the group from start to finish.
- Candidates must be able to stand/walk, often on uneven/unpaved areas, for periods up 120 minutes.
- Minimum age 18 years.
- Instruction provided. A group meeting may be required prior to event.
- Flexible schedules! Shift minimum 2 hours.
For more information about the tour guide program, contact Deb Coffey.
This is a critical job involving hospitality, registration of tour attendees, selling merchandise, answering questions, and closing after tour events. You will meet new people, learn about cemetery and Rochester history, and know that you are helping to inspire community interest in our local heritage.
No experience necessary -- training is provided. Your help will be most appreciated!
- Approximately 3 hours a month from May to October.
- Flexible schedules.
For more information about Reception, contact Barbara Figura.
Gardening Committee volunteers help revitalize and maintain gardens within Mount Hope Cemetery. They are responsible for planting, weeding, and watering their sites throughout the planting season (May-October).
Volunteers provide their own tools and can choose to work alone or in groups. Individuals, families, and community groups are welcome.
- Time commitment varies with projects.
For more information on Gardening opportunities, contact Pat Corcoran.
Cradle Grave Program
Cradle Grave Gardeners adopt a cradle grave, which they plant and care for throughout the gardening season. Volunteers provide their own tools and purchase their own flowers.
Cradle graves have been popular burial memorials in Mount Hope Cemetery since the cemetery was founded in 1838. They consist of a headstone (the family monument), a footstone, and two low stone walls connecting them, creating a distinct rectangle designed to hold decorative plantings to memorialize the person buried below. Long since abandoned, cradle graves are being rediscovered, repaired, adopted, and planted!
For more information on the Cradle Grave program, contact Robbie Dreeson.
Headstone Cleaning Crew
Like working outside? Don’t’ mind getting your hands dirty? Want to make a difference? Come and join our stone cleaning crew!
Headstone cleaning teams, under the direction of Valerie O’Hara, work on designated stones using a solution called Wet and Forget. This product is effective in removing biological residue from stones. The team meets Sundays at 10:00 am. Check our calendar for scheduled dates.
- Minimum age 18 years
- Must be able to walk, bend, kneel for up to 90 minutes
- Must be able to follow procedural and safety instructions
- One shift per month
- Perfect as a one-time project or more if you like
- Great for groups, and clubs
For more information on the stone cleaning crews, contact Valerie O'Hara at [email protected].
Landscaping & Grounds Work Groups
Our many landscape volunteers led by Tom Jones, Chris Petote, and Tony Filer, work in collaboration with the City of Rochester to work on projects which are suggested in the City's Master Plan. Every week during all seasons, our teams are hard at work. The City's 2nd Saturday Program of volunteers is operated by the FOMH, and the Friends also participate in the Annual Day of Caring.
- One-time project or as often as you wish.
- Great for families, groups, and clubs.
For more information on landscaping & grounds projects, contact Chris Petote.