Family Volunteer Cleanup Day

Syracuse Zoo RGZ Family Volunteer Cleanup Day AZA

Bring the family to participate in a volunteer cleanup of the Burnet Park side of the zoo’s perimeter. This event is designed for families of all ages to demonstrate community volunteerism. The first 200 participants who sign up and show up the day of the event will receive a free native plant. Those who post a photo showing they planted their plant by Memorial Day — tagging @syracusezoo with hashtag #SpringIntoAction – will be entered in a drawing for a special keeper chat at the zoo. Drinks and snacks will be provided at the end of the cleanup, and the first 100 people who registered will receive wristbands for free admission to the zoo the day of the event.

Registration is required; Click here to register

Participants are encouraged to visit the zoo and attend special Endangered Species Day Keeper chats and other activities.

Schedule for Family Cleanup and Endangered Species Day 

9 a.m. – Family Volunteer Cleanup participants report for cleanup in front of the zoo entrance.

9-11 a.m. – Volunteer Cleanup participants help with litter pickup on the Burnet Park side of the zoo perimeter.

11 a.m. – Drinks and snacks for cleanup participants.

11:30 a.m. – Endangered Species Keeper Chat: Ruffed lemurs
Social Animals Building

Noon- 3 p.m. – Zoo Curiosity Carts, Seafood Watch, Snailblazers in zoo lobby.

12:30 p.m. – Endangered Species Keeper Chat: Radiated tortoise
Diversity of Birds exhibit

1 p.m. – Endangered Species Keeper Chat: Humboldt penguin
Penguin Coast

1:30 p.m. – Meet a locally endangered animal: Eastern box turtle
Upper lobby

2 p.m. – Endangered Species Keeper Chat: Red panda
Wildlife Trail

2:30 p.m. – Endangered Species Keeper Chat: Bactrian camels
Northwestern Mutual Animal Encounter

3 p.m. – Bird Feeding
Diversity of Birds exhibit

The events are part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Spring into Action campaign, which leverages the resources of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to offer family-friendly opportunities to improve and protect our planet.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is among 233 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), which requires its members to meet the highest standards of animal care, wildlife conservation, education and guest experience.

AZA provided grants for 50 of its institutions to hold volunteer activities for the Spring into Action Campaign. The grant allowed the Syracuse zoo to purchase 200 native plants for the first 200 participants in the May 18 cleanup.

Volunteering – A Richly Rewarding Experience!

Syracuse Zoo RGZ Volunteers
Janet Agostini Friends of the Zoo President & CEO

Did you know that many of the people you see helping to staff zoo events and education programs are volunteers? In fact, if it weren’t for our dedicated corps of volunteers, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo might not be able to offer some of our most popular events – like Zoo Boo, Brew at the Zoo, Breakfast with Santa and Asian Elephant Extravaganza, to name a few.

If you are looking to use your time and talents to make a difference, the zoo is the perfect place for you! We are always seeking dedicated, talented, reliable, energetic and enthusiastic volunteers to help with special events, assist in education programs, help maintain and beautify zoo grounds, and interpret zoo exhibits for visitors.

Here are ways you can volunteer at the zoo:

  • Zoo Events – Help the zoo host fun, educational events by greeting guests, staffing special event stations, assisting with arts, crafts, games and face-painting, help stage and decorate event spaces and more!
  • Be a Zoo Mascot – Represent the zoo at community events and onsite zoo activities as our elephant or penguin mascot! We’re seeking outgoing, entertaining people to don an animal costume and interact with the public just as a sports team mascot does.
  • Conservation Education – Assist our zoo education team with programs that promote public awareness of wildlife and nature conservation. Opportunities include assisting instructors of classroom education programs and staffing animal artifact and information stations.
  • Green Grounds and Gardens – Help us improve and maintain our beautiful zoo grounds through on-site projects that involve a team effort.

Zoo volunteer activities offer great experience for youth, college students, teachers, professionals, retirees, corporate groups and alumni associations, among many others. There are so many ways you can share your skills and give back to your community by helping the zoo with projects, programs, events and causes while getting involved in CNY’s premiere wildlife conservation center.

I invite you to consider joining our zoo family and to apply to be a zoo volunteer. To learn more, sign up for a Volunteer Information Night at or email volunteer services at

My best,

Janet Agostini
President + CEO
Friends of the Zoo