Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Lake Superior Zoo!

The zoo relies on volunteers to help us carry out our mission: inspiring connections to wildlife and action toward conservation in our region and around the world. Whether in education, special events or horticulture, volunteers make an impact every day. If you are looking for a rewarding, long-term service opportunity, you have come to the right place!

Who volunteers?

Our Volunteer Program is for individuals ages 18 and older with the ability to pass a background check, commit to minimum hours requirements, and comfortably interact with guests as a representative of the zoo. We do not accept individuals seeking court-ordered service hours.

Teens interested in volunteering can get involved with our summer Zoo Crew program.

How do I become a volunteer?

  1. Read through the positions below and take a look at our brochure to determine what interests you most.
  2. Print and complete a Volunteer Application. Mail it to: Valerie Slocum, Volunteer Manager, Lake Superior Zoo, 7210 Fremont Street, Duluth, MN 55807.
  3. Valerie will contact you to schedule an information and interview session where you’ll receive a better understanding of the program and position(s) you are interested in.
  4. Upon clearance of a background check, you will be invited to participate in orientation/training sessions for the positions you are interested in.
  5. During orientation/training, you will learn about the zoo and receive training on customer service, safety and general policies. You will also be trained in your specific position and learn how to access the online volunteer schedule.
  6. You will receive your name tag, order a volunteer shirt, and be officially welcomed as a Lake Superior Zoo Volunteer!

Are there opportunities for group service projects?

Yes, we greatly appreciate the support of service groups and other clubs! Our highest need for group projects is in April, May, September and October. If you are interested in arranging for a group service project at the zoo, please contact Valerie Slocum via email or at 218-730-4500 ext. 210.

What volunteer positions are available?


Education Volunteers

Education Volunteers start as exhibit and animal interpreters, interacting directly with zoo visitors and providing them with a personalized experience as they explore the zoo. Interpreters utilize props and education artifacts to enhance visitor understanding of the animals they are observing. Interpreters also assist with our weekly “Oh Fur Fun” schedule and assist at special events. After 30 hours of volunteering as an Interpreter, you will have the chance to apply to be a Docent. Docents are trained volunteer educators that work directly with our education animals and assist zoo staff with education programs such as outreaches, tours, birthday parties, and classes.

Special Event Volunteers

Special Event Volunteers do a variety of jobs at our zoo events including set-up, zoo decoration, greeting guests, running games, supervising the grounds and event clean-up. Special event volunteers are critical in ensuring our special events run smoothly. If you’d like your service group or college club to volunteer at the zoo, a special event is a great way to get involved!

Horticulture Volunteers

Horticulture Volunteers work with the zoo grounds crew to create and maintain gardens on the grounds, work with the greenhouse, assist with indoor plant upkeep, and help with seasonal outdoor preparations (spring set up and winterizing). Horticulture volunteers are required to volunteer 6 hours a month from May through September.

Barnyard Attendants

Barnyard Attendants staff the barnyard, allowing visitors to enter and exit, as well as supervise the visitors while they interact with the zoo’s barnyard animals. Light cleaning duties as well as animal grooming may be a component of this position as well as the ability to interact positively with zoo visitors and zoo barn animals. All barn volunteers are required to volunteer 6 hours a month May through October.

Train Conductors

Train Conductors drive the zoo train during the summer. Act as a guide through the zoo’s many exhibits and introduce zoo guests to our furry and feathered friends. All train conductors are required to volunteer 6 hours a month May through September. You must be at least 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license to apply for a Train Conductor volunteer position.