- very flexible; 20-40 hours anytime between March - November during open zoo hours
- 18+; ability to communicate with visitors; pass a criminal and background check; have a current TB test
Is This the Right Fit for Me?
You love animals, being outside, and talking with people. You enjoy interacting with people of all ages, especially when helping them learn or experience something new! You’ve got a knack for engaging people and your sense of enthusiasm for learning about animals is contagious.
About John Ball Zoo
John Ball Zoo inspires people to be active participants in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment. Located in Grand Rapids’ West Side, the zoo is committed to the advancement of public education on the need for wildlife conservation and preservation. From March through November, the zoo is open every day and is home to 1,300 animals in 245 species.
What Others are Saying
“My love for animals took me to John Ball Zoo. The animals give back with unconditional love. When I’m there, I work with young people who bring laughter and life back to me, and I have a purpose while caring for the animals and seeing others enjoy them. You’re never at an age where you can’t learn something new, so I like growing with new information there. If you love animals and want to teach people to respect them, then volunteer as a zoo ambassador to learn and laugh and have fun while helping.”Joann
Contact the Organization
If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the John Ball Zoo directly.
What to Expect
Fill out an online application, then Jen will send you an confirmation email. She’ll let you know about upcoming orientation dates for all zoo volunteers, and then there will be an education-specific training held a few weeks after that. Nearly all orientations are held on Saturdays and last about 2.5 hours. Then you’ll schedule yourself for shifts based on the particular roles and times that work for you using an online volunteer management system.