You at the Zoo! Volunteer at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo is once again looking for energetic and enthusiastic people to join its Docent Program! Become a Zoo docent and enjoy the rewarding experiences that you’ll encounter every day.

Docents are volunteer educators who are among the most visible members of our Zoo community. Their main function is to provide the Zoo guests with quality, educational and enriching experiences while they are there. Turtle Back Zoo docents act as guides, give educational talks, staff special events and are stationed throughout the Zoo to provide information to visitors about the Zoo and its animal collection. You don’t need a background in biology or zoology, just a love of zoos and interest in public service.

Docent Volunteer Requirements:

  • must be at least 18 years old
  • submit an application found at: by January 10, 2020
  • complete an interview held on Saturday, January 18, 2020
  • complete a 7-day training course held on Sundays, beginning February 9, and running through the end of March, on Zoo grounds
  • pay a one-time fee of $30 to cover training materials
  • commit to volunteer a designated number of hours/events on at least two selected days a month throughout the year

Interested? Contact the Zoo’s Volunteer Coordinator at or call 973-731-5800 ext. 306.

** While a love of animals draws many volunteers to Turtle Back Zoo, volunteers are not directly involved with the handling and care of the Zoo’s animals.

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