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Bergen County Zoo Seeks Volunteers

Education volunteers support the zoo’s mission of education, conservation, research and recreation.
Education volunteers support the zoo’s mission of education, conservation, research and recreation. Photo Credit: Contributed

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- The Bergen County Zoo is seeking friendly, dedicated adults to volunteer as part of the Zoo Docent or Animal Encounters programs.

Education volunteers enhance the activities while supporting the zoo’s mission of education, conservation, research and recreation.

Zoo docents set up artifact stations in the zoo and answer visitors’ questions about the zoo, its animals and conservation. They also assist with school and Scout programs, birthday parties, public events (represent the zoo at fairs, festivals, etc.) and special zoo events.

Zoo docents must be comfortable speaking to people of all ages and backgrounds individually, in small groups and in larger groups. Zoo docents volunteer for a set weekly shift of three hours.

Animal Encounters volunteers work with another Animal Encounters volunteer to take a small animal to a local long-term care facility in Bergen County to enrich the lives of the residents. Volunteers are trained to handle small animals (turtles, hedgehogs, lizards, ferrets, rabbits, chickens and chinchillas) and share information about those animals.

Animal Encounters volunteers serve once per month, on the same day each month (i.e., the second Thursday of the month at 10 a.m.). No experience is necessary; full training will be provided.

To learn more about these programs, attend an information session on either Friday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. or Saturday, Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. at the Bergen County Zoo’s Education/Discovery Center (the first building on the right once you are inside the zoo).

Training for both programs will take place over eight weeks. Training for the AE program will take place in October, and training for the zoo docent program will take place in March. Volunteers must be able to attend all training sessions, pass a background check and commit to an annual time requirement.

For more information, email Taryn McCrystall at tmccrystall@co.bergen.nj.us .


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