Horticulture volunteers assist the Zoo's Horticulture workers with daily duties, including habitat restoration, irrigation maintenance, planting, soil improvement, pest and disease control, pruning, plant identification, helping harvest browse for animals, and general landscape maintenance.
- Be age 18 or older
- Commit to regular attendance for three consecutive hours per week, either 9:00am – 12:00pm or 1:00pm – 4:00pm.
- Be able to commit to volunteering for at least six months.
- Maintain a negative TB test (valid within one year) and current tetanus vaccination (valid within ten years).
- Attend a Volunteer Information Meeting. (See Application Deadlines below)
- Complete an Animal Care Emergency Preparedness course, at least once every two years.
- Provide the one-time Volunteer Program fee of $20, which includes a uniform t-shirt, Volunteer Handbook
- Abide by the procedures and expectations outlines in the Oakland Zoo Volunteer Manual, as well as those set by the Department of Horticulture.
If you are a student, due to the considerable differences between the end dates for semester and quarter-system schools, the start dates for the summer session will vary greatly depending on when your school year ends. Whether you start at the beginning or the end of that time frame, you will still get the same program experience.
Summer (May–September): March 15 (start date is flexible—anytime between May 15 and June 25)
Fall (September–December): July 15
Winter (January–April): November 11
Download and complete the Volunteer Application. Submit your entire application packet or via email or mailto:
Oakland Zoo Volunteer Program
P.O. Box 5238
Oakland, CA 94605
After we receive an application, we will contact the applicant and sign them up for Volunteer Information Meeting where they will learn more about the Oakland Zoo and our volunteer programs and be interviewed.
- Candidates selected will receive an acceptance email.
- Once an applicant is accepted in the program, a $20.00 program fee is required as well as proof of a negative tuberculosis test within the last year and a tetanus shot within the last ten years.
- These items must be turned in before you start volunteering.
- Final acceptance is also dependent upon a background check.
- Those accepted will attend a Volunteer orientation (held several weeks after the Volunteer Info Meeting), and are typically 30-60 minutes long.
- During the orientation new volunteers learn about volunteer policies and procedures, and be given time for a self-guided tour of the Zoo. We will also collect the $20 non-refundable volunteer fee and issue uniforms.
Please email us or call (510) 632-9525 x141 if you have more questions about our Volunteer Program.