The Butterfly Garden is an outdoor 3,000 square foot immersion butterfly hoop house that is heavily planted with annual and perennial flowers and stocked with farm-raised North American native and migrant tropical butterflies. It is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Father’s Day weekend through Labor Day, weather permitting. It is free with Zoo admission and is located on the Tropics Trail.

Summer Internship:

Approximately 400 hours between June 4 and Labor Day. Training for this position starts June 4.  Students that can work through Labor Day will be given preference for open positions.  College credit required.

Responsibilities for the Butterfly Garden Internship include care and monitoring of butterflies and moths that are contained in the butterfly hoop house, interacting with visitors throughout an eight-hour day, and providing interpretive information about the hoop house exhibit as well as general information about the Zoo.  The incumbent will spend the majority of the day standing or walking, and interpreting or communicating to guests.  We are looking for friendly, outgoing, positive and enthusiastic extroverts in order to enhance the guest experience in the garden.

Butterfly Garden interns will have an opportunity to learn about and assist biologists with efforts to rear the US Threatened Dakota Skipper Butterfly.

Duties to include:

  • Crowd control into and out of the garden by maintaining a post at the entrance or exit doors
  • Interact with Zoo guests while monitoring the Butterfly Garden
  • Provide interpretive information to Zoo volunteers and guests
  • Follow UDSA APHIS PPQ containment guidelines
  • Daily maintenance of insect collection and butterfly hoop house
  • Inspect butterfly pupa shipments and hang pupa in emersion boxes
  • Monitor the garden area to prevent damage, butterfly/moth escapees, pest problems, etc.
  • Accurate record keeping
  • Assist in developing and implementing a conservation message or project
  • Reply to pertinent correspondence
  • Assist with reference work or additional tasks as needed

For more information, please contact: Internship Coordinator, Human Resources 13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, MN 55124 E-mail: [email protected] Fax: 952.431.9211         or

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All application materials should be sent to the Internship Coordinator by email at Human.Resources [email protected]