Sequoia Park Zoo Announces A New Season of Volunteer Opportunities

March 28, 2013

Summer is just around the corner, and Sequoia Park Zoo is preparing for another season of fun programs and events – which also means new volunteer opportunities for anyone interested in helping out at the zoo.

The Zoo Interpreter Program (ZIP) is a great way for community members to engage with the zoo’s summer programs. The program is based around themed “discovery carts” and operates on weekends throughout the zoo’s summer season. ZIP Volunteers learn to use carts and animal artifacts– such as skulls, eggs and feathers– to inspire visitors to learn about animals at the zoo and around the world.

Sequoia Park Zoo ZIP

ZIP volunteer Lynn Leger points out the varying sizes of bird eggs during last year’s Great Zoo Egg-stravaganza event (credit David Mast).

“If you get a thrill from seeing a child’s eyes grow wide open when they hold an ostrich egg, or enjoy inspiring people to understand more about animals in the wild, this is the program for you,” says Amber Neilson, Zoo Education & Operations Supervisor. “Last summer, ZIP volunteers interacted with about 1,400 visitors. That means 1,400 people touched a flamingo feather, learned to identify bear scat, or made the connection between lifestyle decisions and wildlife impact.”

This year, the zoo is introducing a new discovery cart, Red Pandas and their Animal Neighbors. This cart will include replica skulls of Red pandas and Giant pandas, a toy made from Yak fur, an antler shed from the Indian muntjac deer, and many more touchable surprises. Our two existing carts will also return for another season — The Wonderful World of Birds, which uncovers the secrets of the avian experience, and The Wild World of Urban Wildlife, which teaches visitors how to cohabit peacefully with the wildlife that frequent our backyards.

“As a ZIP volunteer, I have so much fun meeting people,” says Lynn Léger. “I love sharing information about the animals and the zoo’s visitors have taught me so much. Being a ZIP volunteer is great.”

No experience is necessary to become a ZIP volunteer – the zoo will provide the training. All you need is a little spare time and a passion to share your knowledge and enthusiasm about animals with everyone who comes to the zoo.

The ZIP program operates on weekends, Memorial Day through Labor Day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The first ZIP training is on April 20th, so get a head start on summer and drop by the zoo to pick up an application or download the form from the zoo’s Volunteer page. Teams of two are encouraged to apply.

Contact: Amber Neilson, Education Supervisor
Phone:   (707) 441-4217
E-mail:    education @ sequoiaparkzoo.net

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Open Today from 10am to 5pm

Adults: $5.75

Children (3-12): $3.75

Seniors (60+): $4.75

Children under 3: Free

Zoo Members: Free

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