Curious who cares for all the gardens and landscaped areas in the Zoo? Volunteers do!

More than 80 Adopt-a-Gardens and 12 landscaped areas of the Zoo are lovingly maintained by dedicated volunteers who spend hundreds of hours planting, weeding and maintaining Zoo grounds. This makes the Zoo a great place not only for the animals but a beautiful place for Zoo visitors of all ages.

Our gardens are considered a “best practice” in the accredited zoo community, with much larger zoos adopting our ideas at their own facilities!

If you are interested in getting your hands in the dirt to help maintain the Zoo grounds, here is some helpful information.

Garden Volunteers

Garden volunteers assist with general garden area maintenance on a monthly basis. This may include weeding general garden beds and pruning back shrubs.

Garden volunteer work days are scheduled throughout the season. After orientation by a member of the Horticulture Committee, volunteers may come any time the Zoo is open to assist with routine garden maintenance care.


Our Adopt-A-Gardens are a source of pride and joy for volunteers, staff and visitors! We assign them each year when space permits, with returning gardeners given first preference of any new available bed.

Adopting a garden takes more than a green thumb, it also requires dedication!


    • Provide their own plant material and maintain the garden for the entire Zoo season.
    • Commit to weekly weeding, watering, fertilizing and trimming plants to keep the garden looking presentable at all times.
    • Pledge to assist with the fall clean-up of the gardens at the end of the season.

Gardens that appear untended are re-assigned.

Ready to engage with the Zoo in an incredibly powerful way? Contact us at (989) 759-1408 or email

Already a Zoo gardener, click here for news and updates!