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.
Tour guide volunteers at the Central Park Zoo (CPZ) will conduct interactive, engaging, and educational 60-minute tours of the main zoo for school groups ranging from K-12. Tour guides focus on highlighting CPZ’s animal collection, unique biomes, conservation issues, and share anecdotal info that helps visitors connect with wildlife. Including up to 42 people per group, tour guides will wear amplified microphones and speakers and incorporate the use of inquiry-based interpretation when appropriate. Tours will be offered Monday-Friday only, and guides will be assigned to lead them based on indicated availability (applicants must select, and commit to, one weekday). All tour guide volunteers must successfully complete required training, which will be held on Sunday afternoons from late January-mid February, undergo a post-training skills assessment, and successfully pass a federal background check in order to participate in this program.
Ability to manage and engage large groups of all ages with enthusiasm and clarity (a flare for theatrics is highly encouraged!), and maintain a firm tour timeline
Commit to providing service one day weekly (9:45a-3p) during our Spring and Summer seasons (tours tend to be far less frequent in the off-season and may not require weekly service)
Understand and employ zoo safety protocols as needed
Undergo regular performance assessments
Communicate regularly with Coordinator of Volunteers and other key staff to ensure accurate and up-to-date zoo information is provided to tour attendees
Adhere to the volunteer program policies and represent WCS in a professional manner
Multilingual skills are a plus!
Opportunities to continuously learn more about conservation and animals, and to make an impact every day through this active role in the zoo community
Free admission to all 5 WCS parks for the duration of active service
Discounts on educational programs, as well as on items at our cafe and Zootique (gift shop)
Supporting WCS’ mission to save wildlife and wild place