Frequently Asked Questions for Group Volunteers


What type of projects are available at the Zoo?
What type of projects are available at the Zoo?
When are projects scheduled?
How far in advance should we schedule our project?
Am I guaranteed a project if I e-mail the Zoo?
How long will the project last?
After our project is complete, may we visit the Zoo?
My group is volunteering at the Zoo. Can we bring family members along?
What happens if it is raining on the day of my volunteer project?
What happens if it is raining on the day of my volunteer project?
Is food provided?
Do we need to bring anything with us?
What should I wear?
Is there any paperwork we need to fill out?
Where should we go the day of our project?
What if we need proof that the project was completed?


What type of projects are available at the Zoo?
We have a variety of projects available throughout the year:

  • Assisting with special events, including Eggstravaganzoo, International Migratory Bird Day, Ghouls at Grassmere and other on-site programs
  • Grounds keeping, including planting, raking, moving substrate, clearing brush, etc...
  • Maintenance projects, including cleaning storage areas, exhibit renovation, painting, etc...
  • Administrative projects, including bulk-mailing preparation, packet and bag stuffing and more.

Please Note: Due to strict animal husbandry guidelines and safety issues, there is no animal contact or inside-exhibit work with the animals in the Zoo.

Back to the Top


Our group/organization would like to donate money as part of our project. What opportunities does this create?
We certainly welcome your support! Projects with an accompanying donation are created based on greatest need. Past projects have included purchasing and installing fencing, building storage shelving and structures, and landscaping needs. Please make sure to let us know in advance if you are interested in this kind of project.

Back to the Top


When are projects scheduled?
Projects are typically available each month of the year. Saturday and Sunday dates are available, as are weekdays, depending on the project.

Back to the Top


How far in advance should we schedule our project?
The sooner the better! We confirm projects in the order requests are received, and our calendar fills quickly. All projects should be scheduled at least one month in advance. Please complete and return a Group Volunteer Application.

Back to the Top


Am I guaranteed a project if I e-mail the Zoo?
Unfortunately, no. Due to the high request for group volunteers, we may have a waiting list. As projects arise, we will contact you. Giving us a range of dates several months in advance helps us schedule a project for your group.

Back to the Top


How long will the project last?
Most projects are designed to last no more than four hours and may be shorter depending on the size of the group and how quickly work is completed. We typically schedule projects from 8 a.m. to noon to work during cooler hours. Special event hours will depend on timing of the event.

Back to the Top


After our project is complete, may we visit the Zoo?
Yes! We welcome you to enjoy the Zoo after your project is complete. Please remember that once your project is complete, you may no longer enter any off-exhibit areas. Only those who complete the project are given free admittance. Anyone meeting you after the project must pay regular Zoo admission.

Back to the Top


My group is volunteering at the Zoo. Can we bring family members along?
Most projects are designed for the age range of the group. Some projects are not suitable for volunteers under the age of 18 and age restrictions may apply. If you want us to arrange a project for both adults and children, please let us know in advance. The minimum age for volunteers is 10 – we can not make exceptions to this. For liability reasons, if children under the age of 10 accompany the group, an adult must stay with them and the child may not participate in the project. The adult and child/children will be required to pay regular Zoo admission.

Back to the Top


What happens if it is raining on the day of my volunteer project?
Most volunteer projects are designed for any weather. If the weather looks bad and you would prefer not to work in the rain or cold, please let us know by 3 p.m. the day prior to your project. We will contact you by 3 p.m. the day prior to your project if the project can not be completed in the forecasted weather. Rescheduling will be based on future availability and is not guaranteed.

Back to the Top


I’ve heard that you get special tours if you volunteer at the Zoo. Is this true?
Unfortunately, no. We limit the number of behind-the-scenes tours to respect the needs of our animals and the staff who care for them. If you would like to arrange in advance for a paid tour, please visit our website to learn about the programs offered. The staff you are working with may be able to tell you more about the animals in their area and answer questions if time permits.

Back to the Top


Is food provided?
We encourage you to bring recyclable beverage containers that can be refilled by water fountain or cooler. If you would like to have a meal on grounds, we have catering and restaurants available. Let us know in advance what your needs are so we can be most helpful.

Back to the Top


Do we need to bring anything with us?
Just your enthusiasm! We will provide all tools and supplies. If you are doing a grounds-type project, you may prefer to bring your own work gloves, although we do have some as well.

Back to the Top


What should we wear?
Wear comfortable clothing for the weather and closed-toe shoes. Please make sure that any text or artwork on your clothing is family-friendly. Hats and sunglasses are recommended in the warmer months. Insect repellant and sunscreen are also recommended.

Back to the Top


Is there any paperwork we need to fill out?
We require a signed release of liability form on file for every volunteer. For children under the age of 18, we will need to have a parent or guardian sign that form. These forms will be provided when the project is scheduled and must be submitted upon arrival the day of the project. You will not be allowed to volunteer without a signed release.

Back to the Top


Where should we go the day of our project?
A staff member will contact you with all the specifics. For most projects, a staff member will meet your group at a predetermined location and walk your group to the area where you’ll be completing your project.

Back to the Top


What if we need proof that the project was completed?
Please bring any paperwork you need completed when you come for your project. Give paperwork to the staff member that meets your group. We will complete the paperwork and return it to you at the end of your project. If we must mail anything, please provide us with the name and contact information.

Back to the Top

Still have questions? Please contact or fill out a request form so that a representative may contact you directly.