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Zoo Ambassador - Your Volunteer Role
All volunteers are required to begin volunteer service at the zoo by completing zoo ambassador training. You will begin volunteering as a zoo ambassador and have the opportunity to apply for specialty positions below. All positions require a minimum one year commitment:
Position: ZOO AMBASSADOR
Position Description: All volunteers begin their service by taking zoo ambassador training that provides a basic introduction to the zoo. For those who continue on the zoo ambassador path, zoo ambassador duties include welcoming visitors and making suggestions for a meaningful and fun zoo visit, roving through the zoo helping visitors who need directions and answering questions along the way, and letting visitors know about special programs taking place - from Keeper Talks to Animal Encounters. Ambassadors also help at special events throughout the year including ZooTunes, Jungle Party, Bunny Bounce and WildLighs as well as representing the zoo at off-site events.
Commitment: Generally, eight hours a month, April through September; four hours per month, October through March, amounting to at least 72 hours per year.
Note: Positions are limited and there may be a significant waiting period before an opportunity becomes available
Position: FAMILY FARM CONTACT AREA
Position Description: Contact Area volunteers provide zoo visitors with a hands-on animal experience in our Family Farm. They work directly with the farm animals as well as with zoo visitors, especially young children.
Commitment: One four-hour shift per week, morning or afternoon, May through September with the possibility to socialize animals October through April
Requirements: Must enjoy working with children and families, have ability to closely follow instructions, and be physically capable to perform somewhat strenuous work. Not recommended for those with hay allergies. Training takes place on the job.
Position: ROSE GARDEN
Position Description: Rose Garden volunteers assist the staff with the cultivation and maintenance of this 2.5 acre garden containing over 280 varieties of roses, including bush roses, hybrid teas, miniatures, climbers and tea roses. Their varying growing habits are highlighted by the formal architectural design and offer an unparalleled opportunity for horticulture enthusiasts.
Commitment: One weekly four hour shift between Monday and Friday year round.
Requirements: Ability to closely follow instructions, work outdoors under all weather conditions, and be physically capable of performing garden work. Training takes place on the job.
Position Description: Docents are volunteer educators who present education programs to zoo visitors. They play an integral role in communicating the conservation and education goals of the zoo. Docent activities include giving informal programs to visitors of all ages, interpreting exhibits and biofacts, leading tours, providing hands-on animal encounters programs and working with school groups.
Commitment: 30 core hours annually, with additional volunteer activities amounting to at least 72 hours per year.
Requirements: Must enjoy working with zoo guests of all ages, including children and families. Additional training required, generally offered every other year.
Position: ANIMAL UNIT
Position Description: Animal unit volunteers support animal management staff in preparation of diets, cleaning of exhibit spaces, and assisting keepers in approved activities.
*NOTE: There is no contact with the animals, although volunteers work in close proximity and can study their behavior.
Commitment: One four hour shift a week. Typically 8am-Noon schedule on a weekday; very limited weekend and afternoon openings.
Requirements: Ability to closely follow instructions, physically capable to perform strenuous work. All animal unit volunteer positions require an annual tuberculosis test. Not recommended for those with hay allergies. Training takes place on the job.
*NOTE: Positions are limited and there may be a significant waiting period.
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