Go Wild…Volunteer At The Minnesota Zoo!

Volunteers make a difference at the Minnesota Zoo! Opportunities abound for teenagers through senior-agers looking for fun, unique and interesting volunteer positions.

Why become a Minnesota Zoo Volunteer?
People just like you volunteer at the Minnesota Zoo for many different reasons. Common responses to this question include:

  • love of animals and/or plants
  • concerned about environmental issues and want to do my part to help animals, plants and the world in which we live
  • new to the area and looking to make new friends who have similar interests
  • expand my knowledge and looking to be challenged by learning new things
  • the need to share one’s time, talents and energy with others
  • the list could go on and on

Are there benefits for volunteering at the Minnesota Zoo?
Volunteers are offered many incentives in exchange for sharing their time, talents and energy. Examples include:

  • Free admission and parking to the Zoo,  and limited free IMAX Theatre
  • Free admission and parking to the Zoo  for immediate family
  • Discounted admission to the IMAX Theatre for immediate family
  • Discounts at the gift shops and food concessions at the Zoo and Theatre
  • Continued free training in the form of seminars, workshops and lectures

Commitment? What’s that all about?
Every year, Volunteers donate more than 100,000 hours of service to the Minnesota Zoo. This commitment is HUGE and allows the Zoo to expand our programming to better serve our guests, the people of Minnesota and beyond. The commitment requirement is determined by the volunteer opportunity that you choose. Some opportunities require a summer-only commitment for four hours a week. Some opportunities require a one-year commitment of two to four days a month.

Do I need training to volunteer?
This simple answer is yes, and we provide the training that you will need in order to be successful in your volunteer role at the Minnesota Zoo. Every position has different requirements. Training to volunteer in the gift shops starts with a zoo orientation and then on-the-job training. Other positions, like our adult interpretive volunteer, require a longer training period. Training requirements are discussed again in the following pages and at the time of your interview.

What kinds of volunteer opportunities are available?
This question has many answers. Opportunities might include but are not limited to:

  • volunteering at the Wells Fargo Family Farm where you might work in the goat yard, assist guest seating in the cow milking parlor or interpret in the swine barn
  • Interpreting with artifacts along all exhibit trails at the Zoo
  • Staffing the Sealife Booth, Conservation Booth, Minnesota Lodge Booth and General Information Booth
  • Assisting staff with on-site field research projects
  • Assisting with our Summer Camp Program that provides unique week-long experiences for 2,500 campers each summer.
  • Assisting guests as they shop in our gift shops, replenishing merchandise on shelves, and bagging purchases
  • Handling mailing and filing projects and data input for the Education Department or Zoo Foundation

For information about specific volunteer programs and to download an application, please choose an age group.

Teenage Volunteer Opportunities

Adult Volunteer Opportunities