Adult Volunteers

Volunteers at the Central Park Zoo work within the Education Department to engage zoo visitors in many different and exciting contexts. Through hands-on, conservation based experiences, our volunteers strive to inspire passion for wildlife and nature, cultivate scientific curiosity, and inspire conservation action in visitors of all ages.

As a Central Park Zoo volunteer, you may:

  • Lead inquiry based expeditions for schoolchildren and other zoo visitors through parts of the zoo.
  • Assist Conservation Educators during family programs, school programs, and more.
  • Get involved in a variety of special events and zoo activities.
  • Meet like-minded individuals and become part of a community
  • Have fun!

There are exciting new changes happening with our volunteer program! We are currently not accepting volunteer applications, but please continue to check back for additional information about our volunteer opportunities. You can also email us at cpzvolunteers@wcs.org.

Volunteer Position Duties Qualities Needed Shift Length Time Commitment
On-Call Event Support - Greet guests at welcome tables, distribute materials
- Facilitate activities such as crafts or simple games
- Enthusiasm
- Ability to take directions
- Appreciation of the flexible, spontaneous nature of public events!
Full event plus set up and wrap up One or two days per year
Ambassador - Greet visitors at key locations
- Answer questions about all aspects of the zoo
- Share "what's happening today" and special exhibit updates
- Help visitors plan their day and find their way
- Deep knowledge of zoo facilities, animals, and workings of WCS
- Passion for wildlife and interest in sharing with others
- Friendly and personable
3.5 hours (9 a.m. - 1p.m./12:20-4 p.m.) Two days per month (April - October)
Play Partner - Facilitate drop-in activities with families at Nature Play sites
- Assist children and caregiver in free play exploration
- Enthusiasm for working with young children and their caregivers
- Fun, welcoming personality
- Doesn't mind getting messy/dirty
Half Day (9 a.m. - 1p.m./12:20-4 p.m.) Three days per month
Education Assistant - Greet groups as they enter park and guide to classrooms
- Provide support to Educators during classes, activities
- Assist with family programs, summer camp, or birthday parties
Greet groups as they enter park and guide to classrooms
- Provide support to Educators during classes, activities
- Assist with family programs, summer camp, or birthday parties
Full or half day Three days per month
Expedition Leader - Facilitate inquire-based explorations of the zoo with groups and families
- Ask questions and facilities lively discussions in response to student interests
- Support in-park activities when tours aren't scheduled
- Passion for engaging children in observation and critical thinking
- Excellent listener with strong interest in experimentation and inquiry
- Group management abilities and comfort working with all ages
- Commitment to learn and teach curriculum in response to feedback
Varies Three days per month
WCS Now Interpreter - Facilitate interactive conservation-based activities at specific locations in the park
- Assist with campaign-related petitions and crafts
- Use activities to engage visitors of all ages
- Strong improvisation skills with a flair for the theatrical
- Outgoing and approachable
- Eager to learn and try new things
- Commitment to sharing the WCS mission and message
Half or full day Three days per month (March-October)

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