Become A Volunteer Docent at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo

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Essex County Turtle Back Zoo

  • 7 people are interested

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange is once again looking for energetic and enthusiastic people to join its Docent Program! Enjoy the rewarding experience of becoming a Zoo Docent.

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 here. 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 9th 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.

More opportunities with Essex County Turtle Back Zoo

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About Essex County Turtle Back Zoo


560 Northfield Ave, West Orange, NJ 07052, US

Mission Statement

TURTLE BACK ZOO is committed to providing an enriching recreational experience that fosters excellence in wildlife education and wildlife conservation, so that present and future generations are inspired to understand, appreciate and protect the fragile interdependence of all living things.


Turtle Back Zoo is a facility of the Essex County Parks Department. The zoo is funded by the County of Essex as a service to the residents of the County and the surrounding areas. The Zoological Society of NJ, Inc. is the fundraising branch of Turtle Back Zoo. The Society is a not-for-profit organization that helps to raise funds for improvements to Turtle Back Zoo.


Mon Nov 25, 2019 - Fri Jan 31, 2020


560 Northfield AveWest Orange, NJ 07052



  • Teaching / Instruction
  • Environmental Education




  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • A minimum of one four-hour shift, every other week.

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