Volunteer at the Zoo

Volunteer at the Zoo

Volunteers are an integral component of Nashville Zoo.

Volunteers are vital to Nashville Zoo’s success, providing critical support to the Zoo’s mission and staff. Whether you’re available for a day or are looking for a long-term volunteer opportunity – you can make a valuable contribution to the Zoo’s volunteer team!

Please note: Nashville Zoo does not offer court-ordered community service as a volunteer opportunity.

Current Volunteer Login

One-time Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering at the Zoo’s special events or completing a group volunteer project at the Zoo are great ways to give back to the community and support the Zoo’s mission, with no long-term commitment or prior experience necessary.


Is your company, organization or college group looking for a fun and rewarding service project? Look no further. Opportunities and availability vary based on Zoo needs, but may include special events, event set-up, gardening, landscaping and other projects. There are no opportunities to work with animals.

Current Opportunities
  • Groups of more than 20 - Your group is welcome to volunteer for our special events. Each person in your group should sign up individually and indicate your group name on the sign-up form.
  • Groups of less than 20 - Fill out an interest form for your group to work on a special project at the Zoo. Our Volunteer Manager will reach out to you regarding availability and scheduling.

Special Events

Volunteering at a special event is an easy way to get involved as a Zoo volunteer. Great for groups and individuals with full-time jobs, as most events are held in the evening or on the weekend! There are several opportunities throughout the year, including our popular Easter and Halloween events, as well as adults-only events like Brew at the Zoo.

Current Opportunities
  • Red, White & Zoo on Friday, July 27 (Volunteer shift: 6:00-11:30pm; Ages 21+) | Sign up
  • Boo at the Zoo on select dates in October (Volunteer shift: 4:30-9:30pm; Ages 17+) | Sign up
  • Check back again soon for more volunteer opportunities.

Long-term Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for an exciting and rewarding way to get involved at the Zoo? Our long-term volunteers are some of our most passionate and devoted Zoo supporters – sharing their time and talents with Zoo staff, educating and engaging Zoo guests, and providing invaluable support for the Zoo’s operations.

General Volunteers

Questions about our long-term volunteer opportunities? Contact the Volunteer Programs Manager at volunteer@nashvillezoo.org or 615-833-1534 x196.

Family Teams

Youth (age 10-13) volunteer alongside a parent/guardian as a Family Team, assisting with select special events (age requirements vary), interacting with Zoo visitors and helping with other special projects.

  • Family Teams are required to volunteer regularly for a minimum of year.
Application Process - Open
  • Fill out a volunteer application to be considered for this program. 
  • If selected, a phone interview and volunteer orientation are required to become a volunteer.

Adult Volunteer Corps

The Zoo’s Adult Volunteer Corps is comprised of dedicated individuals (age 18+) who volunteer regularly, assisting Zoo staff with daily operations, programs, events and special projects throughout the year.

  • Adult Volunteer Corps members are required to volunteer regularly for a minimum of year.
Application Process - Open
  • Fill out a volunteer application to be considered for this program. 
  • If selected, a phone interview, background check and volunteer orientation are required to become a volunteer.

Education Volunteers

Questions about our education volunteer programs? Contact Chris Radek, Interpretation Manager, at cradek@nashvillezoo.org or (615) 833-1534 x146.


Docents are a dedicated group of volunteer educators who play a vital role in delivering informal education programs to Zoo visitors about conservation, the environment and our animals.


Docents are required to volunteer a minimum of 70 hours each year.

Application Process 

Pre-requisite: 6 months of volunteering as a member of our Adult Volunteer Corps. Additional training is required.


ZooTeens are young adults (age 13 to high school seniors) who share their passion for animals and conservation with Zoo guests, while gaining valuable volunteer experience. Participation in this program can be used to fulfill Capstone requirements.


Summer Break: One shift per week for at least 7 weeks, along with one full week of Zoo Camp. School Year: At least 4 hours during each semester, plus one Boo at the Zoo event shift.

Application Process

During the early spring, fill out an application, submit two completed recommendation forms, complete an in-person interview, pay a one-time fee (which includes uniform), and attend all scheduled training sessions.

Special thanks to ZooTeen Presenting Partner: Advance Financial