Volunteer

At the Zoo, our dedicated volunteers donate 14,000 hours of their time and talents annually. You too, can make a difference for the animals you love!

COVID-19 Note: The majority of our volunteer and internship opportunities are currently on hold until further notice. Due to the pandemic we are following the executive orders, listening to our county health department and management is coming up with a plan to keep our staff, volunteers, community, and animals safe while being open and operational.  If you have questions please reach out, but in the meantime, we will hold all applications received and reach out when a decision has been made.

Want to learn more about volunteering with us?

Here are some frequently asked questions!

Do I get to interact with the animals?

Currently, the only volunteer positions that interacts with animals are Zoo Crew and Habitat volunteers stationed in our contact yard. None of our volunteers have contact with any other animals in the zoo.

Is there a minimum age requirement?

You need to be at least 13 years old to participate in Zoo Crew. All other volunteers must be 18 or older. Volunteers under the age of 18 are welcome to participate in conservation projects and special events if they are members of Zoo Crew. These hours will count toward the 40-hour requirement.

How do I sign up to be a volunteer?

If you are interested in becoming an Adult Volunteer, you can sign up here! Adult Volunteers include Garden, Conservation and Special Event Volunteers. If you are between the ages of 13-17 and interested in becoming a Zoo Crew volunteer, you can sign up here!

When should I apply to volunteer?

While the Zoo is only open from mid-April through October, you can apply year-round! Keep in mind, volunteer opportunities are currently only available while we are open.

Are there volunteer opportunities in the Fall and Winter?

While we do have group or garden volunteer come out after we close for the season to help clean up before winter, there are currently no volunteer opportunities available while we are closed from November-Mid April.

How often do Conservation Volunteers go out?

From Frog and Toad Surveys to our Adopt-a-Highway Clean-up, it seems like there is always something going on! As most of our conservation work is in partnership with other organizations, the dates and frequency often change from year to year. From the time we open for the season to the time we close, there is usually at least one conservation project a month. Keep in mind, some projects, such as the Frog and Toad Survey require an hour-long training before you can go out with the group. Trainings are typically offered once a month.

How do I become a Zoo Crew Leader?

Zoo Crew Leaders are volunteers 15+ who have completed at least one season in Zoo Crew.

What is the application process like?

For Adult Volunteers, just fill out an online application here! You will need to pass a background check, and, depending on your role, submit proof of a TB test in the past six months.

Zoo Crew Volunteers will need to fill out an online application, have two, non-related adults complete the Zoo Crew Recommendation Form, and have proof of current tetanus vaccine and negative TB test in the past six months.

Garden Volunteers can request to be placed on the garden waitlist by emailing kmccarthy@saginawzoo.com or info@saginawzoo.com. Once prospective gardeners receive a notification that a garden has become available, they can complete the Adult Volunteer Application.

All volunteers must also attend a volunteer orientation before starting. Orientation varies depending on volunteer position.

Do I still attend my shift in inclement weather?

As the Zoo is almost entirely outdoors, we typically do not have our volunteers come in during inclement weather. Zoo Crew Volunteers may still come in as there are indoor projects available for them. Volunteers will be notified the night before or the morning of their shift if shifts are canceled due to inclement weather.

Once I'm on the waitlist, how long will it be before I get a garden?

While we have over 125 gardens, we also have over 50 people on our waitlist! Current gardeners do leave, and new gardens are created, but it is typically 1-2 years before new gardeners are able to join our family.

For more information email kmccarthy@saginawzoo.com. Don’t like computers? That’s okay! Just call (989) 759-1408 x118 and we’ll make it easy!

Already a volunteer? Click below to log your hours and sign up for shifts!