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Help beautify our grounds by regular gardening upkeep to ensure our guests have a positive experience at the Zoo*

*During COVID:
As the warm season comes closer, we are gearing up for gardening projects for the year.

New volunteers will have the opportunity to adopt a garden bed for the 2021 season (March through October). Training for new gardeners will be outside on grounds. The training will include a tour of the grounds, how to get tools, how to handle composting/brush pick-up, etc.

Gardeners at HVZ set their own hours. This is an excellent opportunity for those who may want to be outside but not around many people, as gardeners can enter Zoo grounds along with staff starting at 8AM (HVZ opens to the public at 9:30AM).

We’re specifically in need of volunteers for this role who are comfortable with:
 – Plant identification (i.e. can discern between weeds, ground cover & plants)
 – Flower gardens
 – Vegetable gardens
 – Mulching, weeding & pruning
**Master gardeners are highly encouraged to apply.**

Shift Times


Time Commitment

A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required, weekly preferred. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours.

Age Requirement

Must be 16+ (12+ with an adult)
Apply Now


  • Provide general care and concern for designated garden/grounds area
  • Mulch, weed or water to help maintain the gardens
  • Plant new exhibits or beds as needed
  • Rake leaves and sweep grounds
  • Help with other gardening/grounds projects as available
  • Work with staff to recognize and eradicate invasive species
  • Work with Zookeepers to create and maintain browse areas


  • Able to demonstrate a sense of responsibility
  • Able to sit, stand, lift easily
  • Able to stand or sit for 2 hours at a time
  • Able to work outside in all weather spring-fall (except in hazardous or overly-cold situations)
  • Has an interest in and some experience with plants


General orientation, specific training will be provided


Volunteer outside at the Zoo, meet new friends, help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer t-shirt, volunteer nametag, recognition event(s).

Reports To

Henry Vilas Zoo Volunteer Department