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Zoo Volunteers

Current Zoo Volunteers

Online Volunteer Portal

Who Volunteers?

Our Adult Zoo Crew Volunteer Program is for all individuals ages 18 and older with the ability to pass a background check, commit to 96 yearly hours, and comfortably interact with guests as a representative of the Zoo. We do not accept individuals seeking court-ordered service hours and at this time we cannot accept international applicants.

What Roles are Available?

As a conservation and education-focused institution, most of our volunteers concentrate on guest experiences. Very few volunteer positions work directly with animals.

Horticulture and Guide positions are immediately available upon acceptance into the program. Additional positions become available with the accrual of 100 hours of volunteer service. Accrued hours do not guarantee acceptance into any position. Advanced volunteer positions, such as Education Program Assistants or Program Animal Support, are demanding, highly competitive and require an internal application process.

Why Volunteer?

Our volunteers are an eclectic group comprised of variety of professions, backgrounds, and ages. Each has a unique passion and desire to share the natural world with our guests. In exchange, the volunteer program offers professional development opportunities, fun social events, some member benefits, regular recognition of service and many opportunities to learn about and get insider knowledge of Zoo and conservation activities.

Registration Fee:

If you are selected to join the Zoo Crew Program, there is a required $50.00 registration fee. This amount covers your zoo uniform shift, name tag, and additional program materials.

Important dates:

  • Information Sessions are available on the following days: March 3rd at 2pm, April 2nd at 6pm, and April 11th at 4pm. They are not required and are for anyone interested in learning more about the adult Zoo Crew Program.
  • Applications must be completed by April 12 by 5pm.
  • Anyone offered a position in the program must be able to attend all 4 training dates from 9 am to 4pm. Those dates are April 25th, May 2nd, May 9th, and May 16th.

Click here to apply!

Group Volunteers

Do you have a corporate, civic, military, or other group that would like to volunteer at the Zoo? Please fill out and submit this application!

Conservation Youth Team (CYT)

High School

Conservation Youth Team (CYT) provide an important volunteer service to the Zoo, our guests and our communities. During a fun and intensive two-week training at the beginning of summer, CYTs learn basic zoology and conservation. Upon completion, CYTs provide exhibit interpretation for our guests or support our summer camp programs. As CYTs, students develop important job and life skills, build self-confidence and earn community service hours. Regular conservation experiences connect students with opportunities to better understand science and conservation in the local community.

CYT offers two “tracks” to applicants—Guide Track and Camp Track:

Guide Track

Students in this track hone their interpretation skills and provide enriching guest experiences. Guide Track CYTs will become intimately familiar with Zoo stories and animals while sharing their passion for conservation with Zoo guests. Applicants should have an interest in actively communicating with visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

Time commitment:

  • Two-week training: Monday–Friday, June 22-26, and Monday–Thursday, June 29-July 2, 2015, between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm
  • Shifts: Three consecutive eight-hour days each week (8:30 am –4:30 pm) July 9–September 1, 2015. Students select one of the following day groups: Sunday/Monday/Tuesday, or Thursday/Friday/Saturday. (No Guide Track on Wednesdays.)
  • Conservation events: July 15, August 5, and August 26, 2015.
  • End of Summer Celebration & Awards Ceremony: September 5, 2015

Camp Track

Students in this track will mentor and assist our instructors with our Summer Camp Programs. CYT volunteers will learn how to lead games and manage groups while assisting in activities such as learning labs, zoo tours, behind-the-scenes experiences, and animal encounters. Applicants should have an interest in mentoring younger students and teaching experience.

Time commitment:

  • Two-week training: June 22-26, and Monday–Thursday, June 29-July 2, 2015, between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm
  • Camps: five consecutive days of eight-hour shifts every other week. Students select one of the following Camps groups. Camp Track 1 with starting days: July 6, July 20, August 3, August 17 or Camp Track 2 with starting days: July 13, July 27, August 10, August 24.
  • Conservation events: July 15, August 5, and August 26, 2015.
  • End of Summer Celebration & Awards Ceremony: September 5, 2015

Student volunteers applying should:

  • Indicate a track preference on their applications
  • Be currently enrolled in high school or entering high school next fall and be at least 14 years old
  • Demonstrate an eagerness to learn and to work with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Be proficient in English and comfortable with science vocabulary
  • Be willing and available to attend all important program dates listed below
  • Volunteer for eight-hour days (8 am–4:30 pm) as assigned (approximately 100 hours)

Important dates:

  • Information meeting: Saturday January 24th at 10 am; Thursday February 5th at 6 pm; and Sunday January 15th at 1 pm. (Those interested only need to attend one meeting)
  • Application and Recommendation Form (PDF) due: February 28, 2015
  • Potential interviews: March 11, March 14, or March 15, 2015 (if selected, applicants will need to attend one interview session in person)
  • Summer orientation: May 2015 (dates, times and locations to be determined)
  • Required two-week training: Monday–Friday, June 22–26, and Monday–Thursday, June 29-July 2, 2015; 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • CYT-specific summer events: July 15, August 5, August 26, and September 5, 2015

Registration Fee:

  • If you are selected to participate in the Conservation Youth Team there is a required $50.00 registration fee. This amount covers your Zoo uniform shirt, name tag, and additional program materials.

Applications for summer 2015 are now available online through February 28, 2015.

Apply now

Download the Recommendation Form (PDF)

Additional opportunities are available to CYTs who have time to volunteer during the school year and subsequent summers. Students can assist in special events at the Zoo, support a variety of education programs or interpret exhibits for guests. CYTs cultivate lasting relationships with their peers, adult volunteers and Zoo staff. No matter which of these adventures students choose, they’ll take home memories of a lifetime!

Information Sessions for this program will be held at the Zoo on 1/24, 2/5, and 2/15

For more information about the Conservation Youth team email the Education Department.




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