The success of the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park depends on the support and participation of our community. We are always looking for enthusiastic, caring people to participate in our volunteer program. You can help by donating your time in the following ways:

Become a volunteer

Are you interested in volunteering at the Zoo?  We offer volunteer orientations several times throughout the year!  Orientations are a great opportunity to learn about volunteer options…each one will include a meet-n-greet, handbook review and facility tour.

Follow the button below to sign up for our next session!

  • Executive Director/CEO
  • (315) 755-0892
Volunteer Watertown NY

General Volunteers

Never underestimate the power of an individual. Our staff always welcomes the help of those who are looking for a way to contribute to the community. Duties include grounds work, cleaning, and many other activities.
Do you have a special project in mind? We’d love to hear your ideas and plans!

General Volunteers may schedule participation at-will after completing the application, interview, and orientation process.

zooteens volunteers


The NYS Zoo at Thompson Park loves welcoming groups of all ages to volunteer – from Scout troops to corporate & military groups. The majority of these opportunities are available during the spring and summer months. Duties may include mulching, weeding, raking, painting, & other essential activities to help maintain the beauty of Zoo grounds.

The Zoo hosts seasonal Project days that are perfect for group volunteers. Follow the link below to sign up now!

Brew at the Zoo Summer Events Watertown

Event Volunteers

We rely on volunteers to help with all of our special events. You may be asked to staff a table, host a game, manage crowds, greet visitors, or many other tasks depending on the event. Events include Brew at the Zoo, Boo at the Zoo, Earth Day, and more.

Event volunteers may be one-time participants who are not registered with the Volunteer Program. Follow the link below to sign up now!

Our new Docent program is the perfect opportunity for passionate community members to provide critical support to the Zoo’s mission.

Docents may participate in many ways to help guests connect to New York’s wildlife, including providing interpretive discussions, guided tours, escorting Animal Ambassadors throughout the zoo, and conducting EdZOOcation programs. 

Stay tuned for future sessions!