Our devoted team of volunteers donate thousands of hours each year to further the zoo’s mission. We strive to inspire everyday change for a better future for all species.

 Click here to login to the Volunteer Information Center. 

Teen Education Volunteer Program

Grow and learn as a Teen Education volunteer! Gain experience in a zoo setting and work on professional skills like taking initiative, public speaking, self-confidence and teamwork. Teen volunteers are active during both the summer and school year, and must be able to commit to at least one full year.

Adult Education VoLunteer Program

The Adult Education volunteer program offers opportunities to help animals while developing friendships, new talents, and skills. There are many ways to help, including leading guests in educational activities, going off site to Zoo-on-Wheels programs, and being a part of our award-winning horticulture and photography teams!

Diet Prep Volunteer Program

Diet Prep volunteers work closely each morning with a dedicated team preparing meals for our animals. These volunteers are hard workers, and are required to stand for long periods of time, and work with strange textures and strong smells. If that sounds fun to you, then you are in the right place!

Volunteer Requirements

All volunteers are required to attend orientations in order to learn about the zoo and our mission to inspire conservation. Every volunteer position requires a minimum of 70 hours of service within one year, regular shifts, and the ability to pass clearances. Certain volunteer opportunities may require specialized training.

Volunteer Benefits

  • Be part of an enthusiastic community of volunteers and animal lovers
  • 20% discount on Nature Shop purchases
  • 10% discount on purchases throughout the zoo
  • 50% discount on a zoo membership of any level below organization
  • Access to free guest passes for every 6 months of active service
  • An invitation to our annual volunteer appreciation banquet
  • Access to volunteer educational materials and workshops
  • Not all opportunities are a good fit for all potential volunteers, so please read the program descriptions carefully before submitting an application.
  • There is no animal handling or direct animal contact involved with any of our volunteer opportunities. We currently do not have volunteer opportunities for individuals less than 14 years of age.
  • We are unable to arrange job shadows or volunteer opportunities with our veterinary staff.
  • Additionally, our volunteer opportunities are primarily long-term. We invest a great deal of resources into our volunteer program and do not offer one-time or short-term opportunities apart from corporate volunteer days.

Have questions? Download our FAQ sheet, or contact our Manager of Volunteer Engagement at 800.652.4143 x 231 or volunteer@elmwoodparkzoo.org

Corporate/Group Volunteering

Elmwood Park Zoo provides single service days for groups who want to give back and spend their time in a fun and unique environment! Group Volunteers are accepted all year round on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (weather permitting). Groups often assist with grounds, horticulture, special events and maintenance departments. Groups must have a minimum number of 5 and a maximum of 25 members. All members must be over the age of 14 in order to volunteer.

Corporate/Group Volunteer Application