Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission: $14 Adult | $8 Child

View All Rates ›

Open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission: $14 Adult | $8 Child

View All Rates ›


Become one of Iowa’s WILDEST Volunteers & see what everyone's roaring about!

Blank Park Zoo is looking for energetic individuals who want to volunteer in a fun and exotic environment.  Join our pride of volunteers today!

You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer.  If you are between the ages of 13 and 17 please read the section on Zoo Crew and complete a special Zoo Crew application.

We offer lots of great benefits, flexible hours and a large variety of things to do!  Just look at a few of the opportunities we have…


Do you have a green thumb and a talent for turning flower gardens into colorful masterpieces? The Adopt-a-Garden opportunity is looking for you!  Commitment begins in spring (March/April) and goes through October.  Gardeners are required to attend one informational meeting to learn about approved plants & color schemes and will have the opportunity to select a garden site.  Volunteer gardeners are expected to provide plants and maintain the garden for at least 3 hours a month.

Animal Care Volunteers

Looking to gain experience in animal care?  Animal care assistants help keeper and education staff with the daily chores involved with our animals.  Volunteers must be able to clean, sweep, hose, cut up diets, lift heavy loads and follow specific directions. Opportunities are available in the mornings 7 days a week with the following teams: Aquatics/Amphibians, Avian/Reptiles, Education, Large Mammals, and Small Mammals.  
Please Note: Volunteers are placed on a need by need basis and do not work directly with the animals.  Interest in these opportunities does not guarantee there is spot available, area managers determine the number of volunteers allowed to work in their area.

Conservation - Saving Animals From Extinction

96 Elephants Task Force

Volunteers help educate Zoo guests about the 96elephants campaign and create awareness about the wildlife trade.  Volunteers must be able to interact with guests and provide information in a positive/educational manner. 

Local Outreach

Volunteers will have the opportunity to work outside the Zoo walls on conservation projects around Polk County.  Projects include:  Trash Bash, Upcycle - invasive plant removal & park woodland management, Prairie Seed Harvesting, Watershed clean up, and more!


Volunteers work to promote this pollinator project and help plan the Monarch Festival. Opportunities are available to help onsite and offsite at community festivals.     


Fundraising Committees

Art for the Wild Committee: This event is an annual event to raise funds for the Zoo’s Conservation programs. This committee is looking for a specific volunteer who understands fund raising events.

Gators on the Green:  This event takes place on the golf course!  All funds from this event go directly back to the Zoo!

Zoobilation Committee: Zoobilation is the Zoo’s gala annual event.  This committee is looking for a specific volunteer who understands fund raising events

Community Outreach/Presence

Volunteers who enjoy going out into the community to promote the Zoo are needed for this opportunity.  Volunteers must be comfortable and knowledgeable about the Zoo’s mission and programs. Additional training required.

Membership Promotion

Volunteers help the membership department promote the benefits of Zoo memberships.      

Special Events

The Zoo hosts a variety of events.  Volunteers are needed to help run activity stations for family events and bars for adult events.   Events include: Eggstravaganza, Zoo Brew, Adventure Days, Night Eyes, and Santa at the Zoo!    


Education Animal Presenting

Additional training and time commitment required.  Education Animal Presenters assist the education department with presenting animals to the public.  This can be done in an informal or formal setting.  Volunteers must be comfortable handling a variety of animals and comfortable speaking with the public. Training is offered throughout the year.

Exhibit Education Guide

Volunteers are trained on specific exhibit animal artifacts and interactive games. Must have an outgoing personality, enjoy interacting with people of all ages, and have some knowledge or willing to learn about nature/animals/ecology. Volunteers will need to attend training on the specific exhibit.  

Field Trip Assistants

Volunteers will help greet teachers, parents and students coming to the Zoo for field trips.  Duties include: Bus Hopping, Greeters/Entrance admission, and parking guides.  This opportunity is most needed during the month of May!

Homeschool Assistant

Volunteers will work with and assist the education department with homeschool classes once a month.  Education staff will lead the class, volunteers will help greet participants & parents, keep supplies in order, and provide additional eyes, ears, and hands in the classroom.   Volunteer must be available on the 2nd Tuesday of the month January – April. 

Inspiration Station Guide

Volunteers will help guest take action and be inspired to Save Animals from Extinction!  Additional training is required for this opportunity.  Opportunities to promote water conservation and pollinator conservation are available.

Guest Services

Birthday Party Assistant

Volunteers will assist the Birthday Party host (Guest Service Staff) with weekend birthday parties.  Volunteers will help with the following: Greeting guests, Room attendant, Clean up room after party.        

Random Act of Kindness

Volunteers are here to help guests have an experience that exceeds expectations!  Volunteers can roam the Zoo and help visitors find their way, provide answers to their questions, and help make special memories!

Skilled Labor Crew

Are you handy with a hammer? Have experience using power tools? We are looking for volunteers who have experience with and are preferably proficient in areas of carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and painting. These volunteers will help with maintenance assignments on a project-to-project basis. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for a job description

Group Volunteer Opportunities

Looking to get out of the Office?  We have opportunities for groups to volunteer at the zoo, volunteers must be 13 or older and adult supervision must be present for teen groups.  Service projects usually involve zoo clean up, painting, special event set up, and light construction projects.  To schedule a volunteer day please fill out the Group Volunteer Form and send it to the volunteer manager.
Please note: we do not have opportunities for volunteer groups to work with our animals.

Court Appointed Community Service

Blank Park Zoo does not offer community service opportuinities for anyone under the age of 18.

Ready to Get Started?

Here's what you need to start volunteering.

  • Click Here to complete the application.
  • Wait… the volunteer manager will contact you soon to set up a meeting. If you don't hear anything within 30 days of sending in your application, please contact us at: 515-974-2551. 
  • All volunteers must attend an Orientation and pass a background check.
  • Background checks must be completed before applicants can volunteer and are at the cost of the volunteer.  Background checks cost $15. Information will be given to volunteer applicants before they attend orientation.
  • Orientations are typically held ever second Thursday of the month at the Zoo.  The volunteer manager will confirm the date and time with you after the volunteer application is received.




Zoo Crew (Between the ages of 13 and 17 only)  

Zoo Crew is a special opportunity for youth ages 13-17 to volunteer at the Zoo! The purpose of the Zoo Crew programs is to engage young adults in volunteer opportunities, instill knowledge about the zoo, and inspire an appreciation for the natural world.  First year Zoo Crew volunteer opportunities include: assisting Summer Safari camp counselors with preschool campers, providing information about the zoo as guest service and education/conservation guides, and keeping the zoo beautiful.  Zoo Crew volunteers are also encouraged to volunteer during family friendly special events!

We are now accepting applications for the 2017! Please click here for an application and more information!

*Questions? Please email Chris Eckles at or call at 515-974-2551.

BPZ Volunteer Purpose Statement

To engage the community in meaningful volunteer opportunities, instill knowledge, enhance the zoo visitor’s experience, and inspire an appreciation for the natural world.


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