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Become a volunteer!

Do you have a passion for nature, animals and outdoor fun?

Find your calling at Happy Hollow and put your talent, passion and energy to good use.

How to apply:

Download a PDF?Volunteer Application 2021

Applications can be submitted by:

  • Mail: 1300 Senter Road, San Jose, CA 95112
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Fax: 408-794-6470
  • In-person drop-off at the Admin Building located at 1300 Senter Road, San Jose, CA 95112.

For questions call 408-794-6420

When to apply:

Please submit an application if interested. If we open a new recruitment this season, you will be notified.


Ages: Ages: 14 to 18

Time commitment: Minimum of 70 hours from May to August; minimum of four hours per month from September to April.


The ZooTeen Program is for teens who are interested in pursuing a career involving zookeeping, zoo education, veterinary care, conservation biology or other related field. ZooTeens work closely with our education and animal care teams. They conduct meet- and- greets and animal care routines, and they assist camp counselors with summer camp programs. Additional volunteer opportunities are available throughout the school year.

The ZooTeen Program is highly competitive with limited availability. Applications are accepted November through February and selected applicants are invited to an interview. Applicants who are not selected are welcome to reapply the following season. Prior volunteer experience with animal handling, public speaking and/or working with children is beneficial but not required.


Ages: 18-and-up

Time commitment: Hours vary; minimum of four hours per month for at least six months.


The docent program is for adults who are interested in volunteering in an educational setting within a zoological facility. Docents work closely with our education team and conservation education ambassadors to conduct animal meet- and- greets and exhibit hosting. Docents may also assist zoo educators during on- site class programs and special events.

Keeper Aides

Ages: 18-and-up

Time commitment: One day a week, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for at least six months.


The Keeper Aide Program is for adults who are interested in volunteering in a zoological facility alongside zoo staff to provide daily care for our exhibit animals. They are assigned to specific routines, which include cleaning animal exhibits, preparing diets and/or providing enrichment for our zoo animals.

Keeper Aides are assigned to a single routine that they learn and complete over the first six months. After the initial period, Keeper Aides are given an evaluation and may be invited to continue beyond six months. Previous experience with animal husbandry and/or animal safety is beneficial.

Volunteer Beekeeper

Ages: 18-and-up

Time commitment: Hours vary; minimum of four hours per month for at least six months.


Volunteer beekeepers help with the maintenance of the apiary and demonstration hives at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. They are assigned specific tasks depending on the time of year, and may be asked to assist during Beekeeping & Beyond Workshops. This program is for experienced beekeepers, and or those who have completed a minimum of six Beekeeping & Beyond Workshops within the last six months.

Volunteer Gardeners and Pollinator Partners

Ages: 18-and-up

Time commitment: Hours vary; special projects.


If you love gardening, you will love spending time at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo and Kelley Park. From seasonal weeding, ornamental pruning, to assisting with pollinator conservation efforts – there are many ways to get involved.

Not seeing your particular skill-set or interests?

Let us know! There may be other opportunities available depending on your skill set and staff availability.

Volunteer photography

Happy Hollow receives many inquiries regarding volunteer photography. While we do not have a volunteer photography program, Happy Hollow is happy to accept photo submissions from your visit.

To submit photos for use, please email [email protected] along with your visit date, and how you would like your photos to be credited.

Contact the Volunteer team

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (408) 794-6425
Fax: (408) 794-6470
Mailing address:
Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
1300 Senter Rd.
San Jose, CA 95112