Frequently Asked Questions



Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I apply online?
Do you have an age requirement?
What is the volunteer commitment?
Do you provide parking?
Do I get to interact with the animals?
When should I apply to volunteer at Lincoln Park Zoo?
What is your application process like?
I filled out a volunteer application but have not heard anything. What should I do?
Do I have to wear a uniform?
Do I still attend my shift in inclement weather?
Is there a cost associated with volunteering?
How long is zoo orientation?
How can I learn more?


Where can I apply online?
Click here to apply online

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Do you have an age requirement?
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old for the following positions: Guest Engagement Ambassador, Guest Relations Volunteer, Retail Volunteer, Retail Warehouse Volunteer, Farm-in-the-Zoo Volunteer, Edible Garden, Nature Boardwalk Gardening and Main Zoo Gardening.

High school students are eligible for the Camp Teen Volunteer position and Special Events.
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What is the volunteer commitment?
We ask that volunteers commit to either 7 months for seasonal positions or 1 year for year round positions.

Our seasonal positions typically run from April through October. Those include: Farm-in-the-Zoo Volunteer, Retail Warehouse Volunteer, Edible Garden, Nature Boardwalk Gardening and Main Zoo Gardening.

Our year round positions include: Guest Engagement Ambassador, Guest Relations Volunteer and Retail Volunteer.

Volunteers are asked to come to the zoo once a week on a pre-assigned shift.

A typical shift is approximately 4 hours.
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Do you provide parking?
During the busy season which is Memorial Day through Labor Day volunteers pay $9 to park in the parking lot on Cannon Drive. From Labor Day to Memorial Day volunteers park for free in the parking lot on Cannon Drive. Lincoln Park Zoo is accessible by CTA as well.
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Do I get to interact with the animals?
The Farm-in-the-Zoo Volunteer position is the only volunteer position at Lincoln Park Zoo that has interaction with our animals. That only happens when a volunteer completes training and it is subject to change depending on the needs of the animals and/or recommendation from staff.
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When should I apply to volunteer at Lincoln Park Zoo?
The best time to apply is between January – April of each year.

If you are interested in a seasonal position, the application deadline is March.
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What is your application process like?

  1. Submit Online Volunteer Application
  2. Attend a Volunteer Information Session (held in February and March)
  3. Receive preliminary phone call (if information sessions unavailable)
  4. Attend Volunteer Interview
  5. Complete Background Check
  6. Attend Orientation
  7. Attend Training

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I filled out a volunteer application but have not heard anything. What should I do?
Feel free to send an e-mail to volunteer@lpzoo.org, but rest assured we will respond to each application. Also, check your junk/spam folder to make sure it’s not there.
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Do I have to wear a uniform?
Our standard uniform includes a green Lincoln Park Zoo polo shirt, khaki colored pants/shorts and closed toe shoes. This uniform is required for the following positions: Guest Engagement Ambassadors, Farm-in-the-Zoo Volunteer, Guest Relations Volunteer and Retail Volunteer.

Volunteers in Main Zoo Gardening, Nature Boardwalk Gardening and Edible Garden are required to wear a Lincoln Park Zoo gardening shirt, pants or shorts of their choosing and closed-toe shoes.

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Do I still attend my shift in inclement weather?
Lincoln Park Zoo is open 365 days a year and rarely closes due to adverse weather conditions. Volunteers come in prepared for the weather that day.
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Is there a cost associated with volunteering?
All volunteer positions except Special Events require the purchase of a Lincoln Park Zoo uniform shirt. Price dependent upon position (average price $15).
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How long is zoo orientation?
Zoo orientation is a day long program that all volunteers and staff members attend. It is typically held on Mondays and a handful are offered on Saturdays during the spring.
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How can I learn more?
If you still have questions after visiting our website, feel free to e-mail volunteer@lpzoo.org with any additional questions. 
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