Zoo Ambassador
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John Ball Zoo

Zoo Ambassador

You’ll serve as an ambassador, or educator, to guests exploring the zoo. Interact with guests to make them feel welcome, share interesting information about the animals, and help them engage with animals in interactive exhibits, like the hobby farm or the wallaby exhibit. You’re given many different options of activities and shift times—the choice is yours!

Show me how to get started
At least 1-2 hours a week for 3+ months or 20 hours/year; flexible schedule
18+; ability to communicate with visitors and maneuver to stations in the zoo; pass a criminal and background check; have a current TB test
John Ball Zoo
1300 W Fulton St
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 1300 W Fulton St
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

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’re comfortable being on your feet and navigating around the zoo.

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.

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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 then, then volunteer as a zoo ambassador to learn and laugh and have fun while helping.”


Contact the Organization

If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the John Ball Zoo directly.

Jen Conley Volunteer Manager 616-336-4317

What to Expect

Attend an information session offered monthly to learn more (upcoming dates can be found here) and then fill out an application online. You’ll get to know the zoo better through an onsite scavenger hunt and then interview with the volunteer manager. Before your first shift, you’ll attend an orientation, which includes a zoo tour, in-person training, and online courses.