Volunteers play a vital role at Como assisting throughout the Zoo, Conservatory, Grounds, Education and Visitor Services. As a volunteer, you’ll experience first-hand the fascinating connections between people, plants and animals. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet interesting people and learn new things about plants, animals, gardens and their impact both locally and around the world. At this time, we are looking for a limited number of volunteers in specific areas.
Como has volunteers who serve in the following roles:
- Visitor Greeter-Serve as the first point of contact as guests arrive to the campus and the last friendly face they see as they are leaving. Volunteers in this role will answer general questions, solicit the assistance of Visitor Services staff as needed, thank visitors for any donations and create a warm and welcoming environment as people arrive (17 and older). Volunteer shifts are approximately three hours.
- Interpreters: Assisting guests for an optimal experience during their visit to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. We currently have openings in the following locations;
– Fern room and Sunken Garden
– North Garden and Palm Dome
– North American hoofstock
– African hoofstock
– Tropical Encounters
– Cats and Wolves
- Japanese Garden interpreter – Welcome visitors and help our guests enjoy a fulfilling Japanese Garden experience by sharing information about Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden and information about Japanese Gardens in general. (16 and older)
- Special Events Assistant– There are several ways to be involved if your schedule doesn’t allow for a longer term commitment, but you are interested in helping 3 or 4 times a year. Events like Party for the Planet, Obon Festival and others.(18 and older)
- Commissary Assistant– Assist zoo keepers with diet preparation, general housekeeping and other assigned tasks or projects. This position requires a weekly commitment of at least six months and will require an interview with a keeper. (18 and older)
- Gardener Aides: An outdoor, seasonal role helping our gardener team to plant and maintain the Spring and Summer gardens/displays around the campus. This very physical role (lots of bending, kneeling, stooping, digging) is available approximately May-September, depending on the weather. (18 and older)
- Horticulture Aide- Production: Assist Gardeners with potting up seedlings, plugs and plants. Grooming, weeding and deadheading plants. Moving plants and helping with greenhouse area cleanliness. All of this activities are conducted behind the scenes. (18 and older)
- Horticultural Aide- Conservatory: This positions assists Gardeners in maintaining the public gardens, by cleaning up fallen leaves and preforming plant grooming tasks as instructed. In addition, weed trim or deadhead herbaceous plants, assist with floral displays and disposal of compostable plant material. (18 and older)
- Animal Support Building Assistant: Assist with cage cleaning, feeding, water changes and providing enrichment for small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mouse colony. Dusting, sweeping and other cleaning and maintenance of the building as directed. Organize small and large kitchens including refrigerator and freezer. Assist with putting away food deliveries that arrive to the animal support building. (18 and older)
- Teen Volunteer Opportunities – Nature Walk, a summer youth volunteer program for rising 8th – 12th graders, is returning in 2023. For more information and the application, click HERE.
We are grateful to have many of our current volunteer needs being addressed, but we do have openings. Our current volunteer needs are listed on the application. If you have an interest in one of the roles above and you don’t see it listed on the application, please feel free to add a note to your application and we will follow up with you.
- Free training
- Valuable experience
- Gift shop and café discounts
- Invitations to special volunteer recognition events
How to Become a Volunteer
Join our volunteer team in just 2 easy steps:
- Click here to complete our online volunteer application.
- Wait to hear from us. We respond to all volunteer application requests.
Contact us by email at ComoVolunteers@ci.stpaul.mn.us or call 651-487-8252.
INTERNING AT COMO
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory features many fascinating connections between humans, plants and animals. Each year, dozens of interns and hundreds of volunteers work in partnership with staff throughout the campus to promote the mission of Como. Intern opportunities are offered year round in some areas and seasonally in others.
Before getting started, please note that:
- You must be currently enrolled in a college or university degree program
- Preference is given to applicants currently enrolled in a related field of study
- Interns are required to follow policies and procedures of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory
- All internships are unpaid
An internship placement with our Horticulture team will give students the opportunity to work alongside Horticulturists in the care and maintenance of Como’s plant collection. Interns can expect to gain knowledge and experience in the preparation of floral displays and the rotation of floriculture stock. Preference would be given to students enrolled in a related field of study, but it is not mandatory. In addition, it is not required that interns placed with our Horticulture team receive college credit, although the department can work with you if that is something you are pursuing. There is a physical aspect of an internship role with this team; applicants should be comfortable with standing, stooping, reaching throughout their shift and occasionally lift up to 50 pounds.
The following Horticulture internships are now available:
Our Zoo team is not currently accepting intern applications. Please check back here for any updates related to placements with our zoo team.
None at this time
Como Friends Internship
Education Department internships
None at this time
Application Deadline for this year’s Horticulture internships:
- Summer: March 17TH
- Fall: August 10TH
- Spring: November 10TH
We will accept applications past the stated deadline if openings remain. Please email or call to find out if we have openings remaining past the application deadlines. email@example.com 651-487-8252
A complete Como intern application must include the following:
- Cover letter indicating reasons for interest in a Como internship
- Resume summarizing education and employment experiences
- Two letters of reference; at least one reference submitted by a college instructor with knowledge of your academic performance and commitment to your major
- Completed Internship Application form
Application materials can be submitted electronically or via regular mail.
If you have any questions about applying, contact Volunteer & Intern Services at: ComoVolunteers@ci.stpaul.mn.us 651-487-8252