The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute leads the Smithsonian's global effort to save species, better understand ecosystems, and train future generations of conservationists.

Our horticulture volunteers contribute to our mission! Their work saves time and resources that can be used to engage and enrich the lives of the animals in our care and make a more appealing and rewarding visit for our guests. Horticulture volunteers work on projects like raking, weeding, planting, mulching, watering, or other jobs along with the Zoo's horticulture team. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old and must be capable of outdoor physical activity, willing to get messy, and able to help rain or shine!

This is a seasonal volunteer program, from early Spring to late Fall. Volunteers must be able to work two shifts each month during that period.

These positions are highly competitive and there are limited spaces available. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. The Smithsonian Institution and FONZ are committed to providing the safest environment for our guests, volunteers, and staff. Selected applicants will be interviewed by keeper staff, and those that are provisionally accepted will be fingerprinted and must pass a Smithsonian background check for any conviction directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the volunteer position. Only job-related convictions will be considered and will not automatically disqualify the candidate. All Zoo Support volunteers must also complete a health screening and online training prior to beginning to volunteer.

If you are a current or former volunteer please log in at befor filling out the form. If you don't remember your password, use the "forgot password" link on that page or contact Suzanne at to reset it.
FONZ Volunteer Application: Horticulture
Basic Information
Our company does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression. In order to track the effectiveness of our recruiting efforts and ensure we consider the needs of all our volunteers and employees, please tell us what your gender is. (Optional)
Shifts generally begin at 7:00 a.m. and end at 10:00 a.m. Volunteers are required to complete two shifts a month for the duration of the season.
Please note: if we receive your application after the available spots have been filled, we will keep your form on file for three months, and then will delete it.

Home Address

Emergency Contact Address

General Medical Information
Have you ever volunteered with or worked for FONZ or the Smithsonian's National Zoo?
Have you ever held a volunteer position before?
Do you have any previous horticulture experience? Explain briefly.

Background and References

Please list one employment supervisor or teacher and one non-family member reference: