Volunteer at the Zoo

Volunteers are an integral part of our zoo family! Do you want to spend more time at the zoo? Do you love educating people about the wonders of nature and the animals that live around us? Do you love the idea of volunteering for a good cause?

We have many options for volunteers with different interests at America’s 5th Zoo!  To explore our current volunteer needs click on the button below or you can contact Kathy Whyte at (607) 724-5461 x.504.

Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult, and may not be suitable for certain volunteer opportunities.

Jr. Docent Program

(13-17 years old)

• The Jr. Docent program is the Ross Park Zoo’s volunteer program for teenagers aged 13-17. Through this program, youth learn about the zoo animals, interact with and educate the public, facilitate activity stations, assist with the Zoo School program and even earn opportunities to help further develop larger projects at the zoo! The Jr. Docent program is most active during the summer, though they will have additional opportunities to volunteer throughout the year.
• Jr. Docents are required to participate in the Ross Park Ranger program, which serves as a training and evaluation program. As such, new Jr. Docents are only accepted in the winter & spring, up until a week before the Ross Park Ranger program. They must complete the Ross Park Ranger program and be accepted before they are able to volunteer as a Jr. Docent.
• The Jr. Docent summer program typically runs from July 15 to August 18. During this time, Jr. Docents are required to volunteer 1-2 days a week from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. A regular schedule will be developed based on each Jr. Docent’s availability. Certain exceptions can be made for when a youth is out of town, etc. Outside of those dates, Jr. Docents will have multiple opportunities to volunteer for special events, onsite activities, etc. throughout the rest of the year, mostly during the fall and spring.
• To apply as a Jr. Docent (either new or returning) a youth must first be registered for the Ross Park Ranger program. Click here to learn more.

Please note: Jr. Docents are required to send a letter of interest and two letters of recommendation from non-family members. A $20.00 registration fee needs to be paid at the start of the program which covers the cost of a t-shirt, education binder and name-tag.

Jr. Docents can apply online and send in the rest of their application materials via email or to the address below

Ross Park Zoo
c/o: Jr. Docent Program
185 Park Ave
Binghamton, NY 13903

Contact Jessica Gorman at 607-724-5461 ext. 300

Group Volunteers

(all ages, adult supervision required)

Is your organization looking for team building opportunities and a way to give back to the community? The Ross Park is a fun and unique place for your members to get their hands dirty for a good cause! Projects vary seasonally, but group volunteers are always appreciated during special events, and zoo clean up initiatives.

Interested groups should contact Kathy Whyte at 607-724-5461 ext. 504.

Support the mission of Ross Park Zoo!