The most rewarding place to volunteer in Watertown!

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 for our volunteer program. Help by donating your time in the following ways:

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.

zooteens volunteers


The NYS Zoo at Thompson Park loves welcoming groups of all ages to volunteer - from scout troops to military groups. 
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.

Brew at the Zoo Summer Events Watertown

Event Volunteers

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.
Events include Brew at the Zoo, Boo at the Zoo, Earth Day, and more.

Volunteer Days

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.

The next project days for the 2018 season are: March 3, April 7, May 5


Education Assistant

These volunteers attend rigorous training to learn the most effective ways to engage and educate our visitors about animals and our conservation efforts. Docents spend most of their time on grounds interacting with the public.

We prefer a 100 hour a year commitment, or two hours a week. Other arrangements may be made to work additional days, if desired.

Ways to volunteer watertown

Garden Club

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 a semi-weekly commitment to ensure upkeep of your assigned garden. Want to upkeep more than one garden? No problem!!!

For intern opportunities, please fill out the application and return to Attn:  Amanda Paddock, 1 Thompson Park, Watertown, NY 13601.

*At this time, the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park does not allow volunteers to work directly 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.

For more information on becoming a volunteer at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park, please contact Amanda at or call 315-782-6180 during normal business hours.