Thank you for your interest in volunteering at your Zoo!
The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park can always use enthusiastic, caring people in our volunteer program. Below, we have listed many options for volunteers with different interests.
Volunteer Project Days
These days are made for our wonderful volunteers! Many of us band together and finish projects at the zoo where lots of hands make light work.
To sign up for emails about these project days, please contact Elizabeth at 315.755.0896 or email elizabeth @nyszoo.org.
Volunteer Project Days typically are the first Saturday of the month, starting at 9am and lasting until completion. These tasks are typically related to maintaining structures on grounds.
The next project days for the 2016 season are:
January 9th, February 13th, March 5th, April 2nd, May 7th, June 4th, July 9th, August 6th, September 3rd, October 1st, November 5th and December 3rd.
If weather is questionable, please feel free to call ahead to see what we will be doing for the day. Typically, work clothes and closed toed shoes are strongly recommended.
We need individuals to help with all of our special events. You may be asked to work a table, host a game, manage crowds, greet visitors, or many other tasks, depending on the event. A typical year at the zoo includes the following events:
Symphony in the Park
Brew at the Zoo
Boo at the Zoo
General and Group Volunteers
We need individuals who are interested to help better the Zoo. The majority of these opportunities are available during the spring and summer months. Duties will include mulching, weeding and raking to help beautify the Zoo grounds.
Do you have a green thumb and want to show it off. Our volunteer garden club is the place for you. With collaboration from our Garden Club leaders, you can choose a garden to maintain all season long. We prefer an semi-weekly commitment to ensure upkeep of your assigned garden. Want to upkeep more than one garden? No problem!!!!
Our docents are our volunteer educators. These volunteers attend rigorous training to learn the most effective ways to engage and educate our visitors about animals and our conservation efforts. The Docents spend most of their time on grounds interacting with the public. With further training, Docents may be eligibible to participte in education programs both on-site and off-site.
Our Docents are expected to make a regular commitment to the Zoo. This guarantees our Docents are always familiar with the happenings at the Zoo. We prefer a 100 hour a year commitment, or two hours a week. Other arrangements may be made to work additional days, if desired.
ZooTeen Applications are due May 15th, 2016 for the summer of 2016 program.
The Zoo is looking for responsible, enthusiastic students with an interest in working in a zoological environment, and who can interact positively with guests. Applications are available here.
Our ZooTeen Leaders program offers teens the ability to assist with volunteer workdays, special events, and other activities. ZooTeen Leaders must successfully completed one full season of the ZooTeens program with exemplary performance.
So, whether you are interested in volunteering by yourself or with a group, becoming a docent, an event volunteer or anything in between, the Zoo needs the help of people like you!
*At this time, the New York State Zoo at Thomspon Park does not allow volunteers to work with our animals. This policy benefits the safety and well being of our animals, staff and volunteers. If you are interested in getting up close with some of our animals, please see our education programs in the education section.
*Due to limited staff resources, we do not offer job shadow opportunities.