General Volunteers

Discounted Programs



October-March, Monday-Friday

About the Program

Volunteers are vitally important to the Zoo. Some people love to interact with the public and educate about the animals and the Zoo's conservation programs. Some people love to garden and donate their time to the ongoing landscaping efforts. Others like to be indoors and help with filing or organizing. Yet others like to build or paint and help build or repair the Zoo's buildings, fences, and other structures. Whatever you love to do, we can put your time and talents to good use.

Project Types

We are looking for volunteers from around the East Bay and Bay Area to help with:

Special Events

Assist the marketing and education staff in hosting successful and educational zoo-wide events, including pre-planning activities, set-up, and clean-up.


Assist the Education Staff in a variety of jobs including record keeping, supply preparation, research, administrative/clerical support, special events, assisting zoo guests, and other programming support.


Work with our horticulture staff on the daily requirements of park maintenance and assist with landscape management and habitat restoration projects.


Work with our Security and Park Services staff in providing basic first aid and life support to ill or injured zoo guests. Assist with reuniting lost children and parents.


Provide clerical support to a variety of departments such as: Education, Conservation, Marketing, Membership, Group Services, and Development. Projects and tasks will vary by department.

Application Process

New Volunteer Information Meetings

New Volunteer Information Meetings are held twice a year (February and September).

Application Forms

If you are undecided regarding an area for your volunteer service, please download the General Volunteer Application.

If you have decided you wish to volunteer with our Animal Care Department, please download the Animal Care Volunteer Application.

Application Submission

Completed applications can be submitted via email, faxed to (510) 729-7324, or mailed to:

Oakland Zoo Volunteer Program

PO Box 5238

Oakland, CA 94605, email, or fax: (510)729-7324.

Contact Information

Have questions? Please download and look over our General Volunteer FAQ sheet.

You may also email Lisa O'Dwyer, Volunteer Programs Manager ,or call her at (510) 632-9525 x141.