Volunteers are the heart of our mission to save animals

Volunteer PROGRAM

About the Program

For individuals ages 16 years and older

Volunteers are ambassadors for Woodland Park Zoo and an important part of our zoo team. We seek individuals who are excited about engaging with the zoo’s mission to save wildlife and inspire everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

The primary focus of our volunteers is engaging with zoo guests by offering assistance and information, facilitating extraordinary zoo experiences and helping at a variety of special events. Once in the program, volunteers also have the opportunity to apply and interview for positions in other aspects of the zoo's operations including horticulture, education and leadership roles within the Volunteer Program.

Our program offers all volunteers opportunities to continuously learn more about conservation and animals, and to make an impact every day through this active role in the zoo community.

Current WPZ Volunteer VIC Access


Volunteer Program Requirements

The Woodland Park Zoo Volunteer Program requires interested individuals to:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Demonstrate commitment to the highest standards of customer service
  • Have enthusiasm for people, animals and conservation
  • Commit to the Volunteer Program for a minimum of one year
  • Meet the minimum service requirement of six hours per month, a total of 72 hours per year
  • Attend one Volunteer Program info session
  • Successfully complete zoo ambassador training and mentorship
  • Pay a one-time $30 program fee to cover costs upon entry into the program (there is no fee to apply; financial assistance is available)
  • Provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 if accepted into zoo ambassador training (People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Volunteer placement offers may be withdrawn for individuals who do not comply with this policy.)

Read more about volunteer training, activities and positions


Learn More and Apply!

You must be at least 16 years old and attend a virtual info session to apply for the Volunteer Program. During this info session, you will learn about volunteer expectations and benefits, training requirements, and current volunteer opportunities. You will have the chance to see what sparks your interest, ask questions, and decide if our program is right for you! Applications are only available by attending a virtual info session in the winter.

We received a record number of applications during the 2023 recruitment period. As a result, we are not able to offer additional info sessions, or accept more applicants for the remainder of 2023. Info session dates for 2024 will be shared here on December 1, 2023.

Want to be notified when info session dates are finalized? Sign up to join the waitlist and receive an email notification on or before December 1 with the 2024 info session details.

Sign Up for Notifications




Service Projects

Service Groups are accepted on a limited basis, please email corpengagement@zoo.org to request information.


Contact Us

Volunteer Program

If you cannot find the answers to your questions about volunteering or need additional help please contact program staff at volunteer@zoo.org or 206.548.2450 (email preferred).

Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Seattle Parks & Recreation
Humane Certification

5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103   |  206.548.2500  |   zooinfo@zoo.org