Go Wild…Volunteer At The Minnesota Zoo!

Volunteers make an impact at the Minnesota Zoo! Opportunities abound for teenagers through senior-agers looking for fun, unique and interesting volunteer positions.Volunteer-9

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
  • concern for the environment
  • conservation focused
  • make new friends
  • expand knowledge
  • the need to share time & talents
  • gain experience in the field
  • the list could go on and on

<!– How about volunteer benefits?
Volunteers are offered many incentives in exchange for sharing their time, talents and energy. Some examples include:Volunteer-8

  • Free admission to the Zoo
  • Discounted admission to the IMAX Theater
  • Discounts at the gift shops and food concessions
  • Recognition Events
  • And many more

Commitment? What’s that all about?
Every year, Volunteers donate more than 110,000 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. For example, training at the Conservation Carousel 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.Volunteer-7

How does my volunteer service to the Minnesota Zoo make a difference?
The mission of the Minnesota Zoo is to “Connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife.”  Our vision is to be a leader in saving wildlife through engagement, inspiration and action.  We are the #1 environmental education center in the state of Minnesota.  Not only are volunteers instrumental in sharing information with our guests about the 4,300+ animals we exhibit,  they also are trained to tell our conservation stories that focus on our collection of animals, species here in Minnesota that need our help and those around the globe that are in danger of extinction.   Do volunteers make a difference at the Minnesota Zoo?  They gave 113,857 hours of service during fiscal year 2014 sharing our conservation message.  We call that AMAZING!

Do I need a background check completed to volunteer?
All volunteers who interact with children, including our zooteen volunteers as young as 13 years of age, must complete a Child Protection Background Check before they can volunteer at the Minnesota Zoo.  Cost is covered by the Minnesota Zoo.

What is my next step?

Click on a program link to find information about the 250 volunteer positions available for the 2018 calendar year. Fill out an online application. When we receive your completed application, we will email you a link to register for an Information and Interview session. Upon acceptance into the program you will be added to the schedule for training. Times/dates of training depend on the program.

Adult Interpretive Volunteer Program 18 years of age and older (Next class Sept/Oct 2018)
Summer Camp ZooTeen Volunteer Program 13-18 years of age
Wells Fargo Family Farm Volunteer Program 17 years of age and older
Guest Experience Conservation Carousel Volunteer Program 17 years of age and older
Guest Experience Event Volunteer Program 18 years of age and older
Seasonal Interpretive Volunteer Program-“Kangaroo Crossing and Sealife” 17 years of age and older