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.

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Volunteer Benefits

Education Volunteer Program

Volunteers are a crucial part of helping Elmwood Park Zoo fulfill its mission to educate and inspire active participation in wildlife and environmental conservation. Our volunteers engage with our guests and share knowledge helping to create a connection with the amazing animals that call EPZ home. Volunteers also provide critical support to the zoo by assisting with events and helping deliver a meaningful and memorable experience for our guests. No matter how small or simple the support may seem, EPZ could not do it without our wonderful volunteers.

Whether you are a teen volunteering to gain experience for a future career, or an adult looking to make a difference, EPZ considers volunteering a serious commitment. All EPZ volunteers are asked to contribute a minimum of 8 hours each month (with the exception of January and February) for a total of 80 hours per year.


  • There is no animal handling or direct animal contact involved with any of our volunteer opportunities, with the exception of our barnyard.
  • We do not accept new volunteers from December – February. Any applications submitted during that time will be held until March

All applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be 14 years or older
  • Have a positive attitude and strictly adhere to policies, procedures, and customer service standards
  • Be comfortable engaging with guests about animals
  • Be flexible and willing to shift where the zoo needs them the most
  • Be able to work outside and stand for the duration of a shift
  • Be able to follow a schedule and work independently
  • Complete an online application, including references
  • Review/complete orientation
  • Commit to volunteering a minimum of 80 hours annually
  • Love animals!

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.

Community Volunteering

As a non-profit the Elmwood Park Zoo depends on the generosity and support of volunteers to help deliver our mission, but we understand that not everyone can commit to a regular volunteer shift or may not be comfortable educating guests. The Community Volunteer Team (CVT) is designed for people who may have occasional availability or special skills to help with short term or single day projects.

  • Not all opportunities are a good fit for all potential volunteers, so please read the program descriptions carefully before submitting an application.
  • 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 opportunity apart from corporate volunteer days.

Questions? Contact volunteer@elmwoodparkzoo.org or 800.652.4143 x 236