Docent Program

Volunteer at the Zoo

Do you like to talk to people about animals and conservation? Are you looking for a way to contribute to EARTH Ltd and Southwick’s Zoo? Our docent program is for dedicated individuals who want to learn so much about the zoo and its inhabitants to help educate zoo visitors and create lifelong memories for every guest.

What do EARTH and Southwick’s Zoo’s docents do?

Our docents work in many different locations throughout the zoo educating guests and answering questions. Docents act as the “answer people” within the zoo. Docents are asked many questions ranging from “Why do giraffes have purple tongues” to “What are the tigers’ names?” to “Where is the nearest restroom?” In addition to educating and assisting visitors, docents also have the opportunity to assist with certain events.

Volunteering with EARTH and our zoo is a rewarding experience; docents learn much about the zoo and its inhabitants, and they are part of an amazing group of individuals!

*Please be aware the docents DO NOT assist with zookeeping or animal care. Docents strictly play an educational role within the zoo.

“Volunteering is a great learning curve, especially if you are retired, and keeps mind and body active and healthy. Conservation has a whole new meaning now that I am a docent.”

– Pat

“My family and I already loved the zoo, so volunteering was an easy decision. The extra perks the zoo graciously offers for volunteers are nice too.”

– Tracy

“This program is so enjoyable. The training classes are wonderful. As a docent I’ve enjoyed spending time with zoo guests, being around the animals, and I have made many new friends.”

– Michele

“Whenever I enter the zoo for my docent shift, I am greeted with the sights and sounds of an amazing collection of animals. It is such a pleasure and a privilege to share them with the guests and contribute to an exceptional zoo experience. “

– Nancy

“Being a docent at SWZ gives you the opportunity to join a team of hard-working people and educators who love animals. Volunteering gives you an appreciation for the knowledge you learn about these animals in docent classes.”

– Rich

“I’m one of the newer docents at Southwick’s Zoo and I love it!  The opportunity to interact with the public while providing them with educational and conservation information is fantastic. “

– Amber

“Interacting with guests and helping them better understand these animals and their place in the world with us humans makes this one of the most rewarding volunteer activities I have ever done.”

– Cindy

“By speaking with our guests, young and old, sharing what we learn at docent class and on the job, it’s awesome to feel that you are in some small way helping to improve the future of our beloved animals.

– Aileen


Docent Requirements

  • All applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
  • All applicants must be vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Applicants must have weekend availability. Those accepted to the volunteer/docent program must take a 10 week class taking place on Saturdays February-April to learn information about the zoo and its inhabitants. Each new docent will be mentored by a senior docent.
  • Docents are asked to volunteer a minimum of 8 hours/month during the zoo’s normal season of April-October. Please note that new docents only volunteer on weekends.


Docent Benefits

  • A free Family Value Pass to bring friends and family to the zoo after completing a certain number of hours
  • Discounts on food and merchandise purchased at the zoo
  • You’ll become a part of a great group of people!

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with EARTH Limited and Southwick’s Zoo. We are very sorry, however we are not accepting Docent Program applications at this time.