The Minnesota Zoo has five programs for adults:
Application information will be found at the end of this page after the program descriptions.
Adult Interpretive Volunteers
Come see what we're all about. If you have visited the Minnesota Zoo, you most likely have seen them in action...our Adult Interpretive Volunteers in blue. They are out and about on exhibit trails sharing information and answering questions to ensure that our guests enjoy their visit. Adult interpretive volunteers must be 18 years of age and able to make a one-year commitment to the Zoo to volunteer two to four days a month. Volunteers work as teams so you would join one day of the week, for instance you might choose to be on the “Monday” team or the “Sunday” team.
Training for this program consists of one evening and five Saturday training sessions held in the Fall of each year. You will study the Zoo’s animals, exhibits and conservation messages as well as general biological concepts and Zoo knowledge so that you are well prepared to interact with our guests. When you begin volunteering you will work with a mentor to guide you through your first few months.
Prior to being accepted into the training classes, prospective volunteers spend a regular volunteer day, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., "shadowing" a volunteer who has already completed our basic training program. Shadow volunteers experience the realm of opportunities typical for a day at the Zoo. For example, you might spend an hour on the Tropics Trail, an hour exploring the underwater spectacles of sharks, fish and invertebrates, an hour assisting with one of the many special events, an hour at the information booth, and an hour at the Tiger Lair Exhibit…all in one day. Shadow days are scheduled at your convenience, seven days a week. After we receive your complete application, you will be contacted to set up your shadow day, or you may call to set up a shadow day and bring your application with you that day.
Because the Adult Interpretive Volunteer training is only held once a year, most adults become Seasonal Exhibit Interpreter Volunteers in the Spring and then complete training in the Fall to be a “Blue Shirt” Adult Interpretive Volunteer.
Wells Fargo Family Farm Volunteers
Each spring our Farm exhibit kicks into summer gear and more than 100 volunteers are needed to help interpret and handle animals (those farm babies that is) in the goat yard, chicken coop, bunny hutch, swine barn, and cattle barn. Farm volunteers are outside or in a barn throughout the day, answering questions for our guests and helping to ensure they have an enjoyable visit. Farm volunteers choose a volunteer day and are at the Farm 9:30 am - 4:30 pm, the same day each week throughout the summer. Training includes homework: reading the Family Farm training manual and taking animal quizzes, in addition to two half days of volunteer training in May.
Farm volunteer candidates must be...
Seasonal Exhibit Interpreter Volunteer
DINOSAURS are returning to the Minnesota Zoo in the summer of 2013 as well as our popular AFRICA Exhibit. Training will be provided so that you will be able to share information and experiences for young and old alike creating memories for a lifetime. You will also be trained to interpret along the Minnesota Trail, home to our new Black Bears.
Gift Store Volunteers
Calling all you shoppers out there...go wild and volunteer one day a week for a four-hour shift at the Zoo's Timber Lodge Traders and Water Works Market. Gift Shop Volunteers help to keep shelves neat and fully stocked, mark merchandise, and assist guests with their shopping experience.
Office Assistance Volunteer
If you would prefer to volunteer away from the busy guest interaction areas, perhaps our Office Volunteer Program is for you. Opportunities include data entry, filing, phone work and mailing projects as well as collating and compilation projects. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and available to volunteer on average one day a week, Monday through Friday for four hours.
If you are interested in becoming an adult volunteer at the Minnesota Zoo, download the Volunteer Application Form
To receive more information about any of the above programs, please call 952.431.9588 or toll-free at 1.800.366.7811.