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Print an application to
be a zoo volunteer.
Prospective volunteers must complete an application and orientation/interview prior to acceptance into the Friends of the Zoo volunteer program. To receive a brochure and application with information on volunteer opportunities, email the zoo at info[at]dickersonparkzoo.org (include your full name and complete mailing address). Or, call the zoo office at (417) 833-1570.
Background check: Yearly background checks are required for adult volunteers. The initial background check is included with the purchase of your uniform shirt ($35). The fee will be waived the following year upon meeting the 50-hour volunteer time requirement.
Read the complete Zoo Docent Volunteer Description (PDF)
Docents assist Friends of the Zoo’s Conservation Education Department in several capacities on the zoo grounds and in the community with outreach programming. These “volunteer teachers” share their knowledge of the zoo and support the zoo’s conservation education mission. Docents may be stationed on the zoo grounds to enhance our guests’ zoo visit and help make a connection to nature. Docents may also become an educator in our outreach programming for schools and organizations or assist with various Z.E.B.R.A. classes.
Adults age 18 and older who are seeking a degree or career with animals or who like working with animals and interacting with people of all ages are invited to join this committed group of volunteers. No experience is necessary. However; you must be available for the required training. Additional training will vary with the position, and some docent positions are limited in availability. Volunteering as a docent involves lifting, carrying and walking somewhat strenuous distances with crated animals and biofacts.
Volunteers must adhere to the dress code as stated in the Volunteer Manual. The initial $35 fee covers the cost of one uniform shirt. You may purchase additional shirts if necessary.
Print an application to be a Zoo Docent (PDF).
Read the complete Zoo Ambassador Volunteer Description (PDF)
Ambassadors assist Friends of the Zoo’s event and guest services departments in several capacities. Zoo Ambassadors are enthusiastic and people-oriented volunteers who supplement zoo staff and interact with guests during events and throughout the summer season. When the zoo hosts an event, it is almost entirely staffed by volunteers. During events, Zoo Ambassadors assist the admission gate, sell or serve concessions and staff activity areas. Throughout the main season, Ambassadors also help host after-hours company picnics and assist zoo staff by monitoring animal feeding stations, selling tickets at the train station, selling Friends of the Zoo memberships and interacting with guests.
The Zoo Ambassador program is open to anyone 18 and older (for some events, volunteers must be 21 years old). Most events are on Saturdays, with a few on weekday evenings or Sundays. No experience is necessary. However, you must be available for the required training. Volunteering as an Ambassador involves walking throughout the zoo grounds and other physical tasks appropriate to the event or activity. Print an application to be a Zoo Ambassador (PDF).
Benefits of volunteering
at Dickerson Park Zoo
50 service hours per year are required to be an active Zoo Volunteer. In return for their dedication of time and talent, Volunteers receive numerous benefits: free zoo admission, a discount in the Safari Trading Company gift shop and employee prices on food at the Bush Country Café. Active volunteers are invited to the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Volunteers are also eligible for Friends of the Zoo memberships based on their total service hours for the year. In addition, awards for cumulative hours are given. Volunteers who give 250 hours of time and at least five years of service are honored with a name plaque on the Volunteer Wall of Honor.