Join Our Adopt-A-Garden Program!

The Potter Park Zoo Adopt-A-Garden program looks to open the zoo’s numerous gardens to community members of all skill levels through the adoption and beautification of a plot.

Whether you are a master gardener of just beginning to nurture your green thumb, we invite you to connect with the culture and natural landscape of the zoo. Each adopted garden plot will come with a personalized plaque displaying a name or memorial of the adopter’s choosing.

Potter Park Zoo will supply all simple garden tools, mulch, and leaf bags to adopters while they are at the zoo to help get them going on creating their horticultural space. Adopters are responsible for supplying their own plants. All plant material must be approved by the Potter Park Zoo Horticulturist and Volunteer Coordinator prior to bringing them into the zoo, as many plants can be toxic to animals.

Gardening Hours

Garden adopters will have access to their space seven days a week during standard Potter Park Zoo hours of operation. Once inside the zoo, adopters may remain until one hour after the zoo closes for the day.

How to Apply

Interested in adopting a space of your own? Read below to begin the process today.

All new Individual Volunteers must first complete the Individual Volunteer Application.  After your application has been submitted, you will receive a welcome email, as well as a request for information to complete a required background check (not applicable for those under 18).

Once you have completed and passed your background check, you will receive an email to do an online orientation.  After completing the online orientation, you will be able to make arrangements for a brief tour of the zoo.  There is a $20 Volunteer Orientation Fee, that will be collected at your onsite tour.  This covers your on-boarding process and a uniform t-shirt, which will be given at the time of your tour. During the tour, we can discuss available Adopt-a-Garden spaces.

Please note:  The minimum age to volunteer is 14.   For those ages 14-15, a parent or guardian must be present each time you volunteer (UNLESS – you are part of the separate Zoo Teen Program or Junior Zookeeper Program) AND this parent/guardian must also go through the volunteer application process with you, including attending orientation. If you are 16-18 years old, a parent/guardian does not need to be present when you volunteer, however, a parent/guardian must attend the volunteer orientation with you.