Photo of a person watering plants at the zoo.

Join Our Adopt-A-Garden Program!

Find out more at our Adopt-a-Garden Pre-season Meeting, Tuesday, April 11, 5:30-7 p.m.

This meeting will take place at the zoo in our Discovery Center Safari Room.

Looking for a great way to get outside and volunteer with your community zoo? Potter Park Zoo has an Adopt–A–Garden program that welcomes volunteers to create a beautiful garden space in the zoo.

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. Adopters are responsible for supplying plant material, chosen from a zoo-approved list, as many plants can be toxic to animals. Special note on watering and chemicals:  Providing water will be adopter’s greatest challenge. In the summer heat, adopters may have to water as often as every 3-4 days for plants to survive the season. The use of chemical fertilizers, and herbicides and pesticides of any sort is strictly prohibited.

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.

photo of bushes and shrubs with a large rock off to the right.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 18, unless a family with children ages 14-17 is adopting a garden space.  In which case, the parent/guardian and participating children (14 +) must do the volunteer application and orientation process together and a parent/guardian needs to be present for any garden volunteering.