The Oregon Zoo is a community of animals, staff and volunteers. Volunteers work all over the zoo and beyond, from helping guests have a great visit to offsite presentations.
Benefits of being a zoo volunteer include free zoo admission for some positions, acquiring new skills, and having fun working with some great staff and volunteers. Choose a program that works for you:
A summer program for volunteers ages 10 and older. Ambassadors receive five hours of training and work one 4-hour shift per week, interacting with visitors at seasonal exhibits for approximately 10 weeks, from late June to late August.
Community event volunteers are 12 years and older and commit to work one day, interacting with visitors at one of the zoo's annual community events. No pre-event training is necessary.
This is a summer program for students entering ninth to 12th grades. ZooTeens commit to four days of training in early June and 11 hours of volunteering per week, for approximately 11 weeks, from mid June to early September (with a two-week vacation). Tuition of $125 provides training, conservation education and mentoring by zoo professionals.
Family Farm volunteers
The Trillium Creek Family Farm offers teenagers enrolled in the ZooTeen program a hands-on experience in farm operations and animal care. They assist with daily farm operations, care for the animals, and help visitors learn and discover. (Sorry, we currently are not accepting students needing community service hours to meet a graduation requirement.) Learn more about the ZooTeen program.
ZooGuides are adults (over age 18) who can make a long-term volunteer commitment. ZooGuides receive 32 hours of training and commit to 88 hours of service each year. A volunteer's skills and interests shape his or her work at the zoo. Some are "animal talkers," sharing animal facts and stories at exhibits; others work in the office, on landscaping or in animal enrichment. Other volunteers take animals like ducks, chickens and hedgehogs offsite for presentations in schools and care facilities.
The zoo offers internships on an as-needed basis in fields ranging from animal care to volunteer management. They are available for college and graduate-level students, generally with a three-month term.
This happens year-round at the zoo on landscaping projects. Groups must be between five and 10 members for youth or 20 members for adults, with a minimum age of 12 years, and possess a willingness to work outside one day for four hours, rain or shine, cold or hot.
Certified SCUBA divers are invited to support marine life keepers with diving tasks in the marine area.