Volunteer docents and guides enhance zoo-going experience

Brooklyn, NY – August 10, 2010 – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo announced today that it is welcoming new applications for its Discovery Guide and Docent Programs, which educate the public about the zoo’s animals and WCS’s conservation mission.
A basic volunteer training program, offered fall and winter, qualifies adults and teens to be Discovery Guides at the zoo. Once trained, guides will be able to answer questions about the zoo’s animals, present “biofacts” at Discovery Stations, assist in the interactive Discovery Center, work at special events, and teach visitors how to interact with alpacas, horses, and sheep in the barn area.
Teen Discovery Guides are able to assist on group tours, staff birthday parties and educational programs, and enhance their public speaking skills.
Adults who enroll in the program will have the opportunity to advance to the docent level by completing the Interpretation and Animal Handling courses offered in the winter.  Docents help visitors by interpreting exhibits, leading group tours, and presenting Live Animal Encounters to the public that include teaching children and families about wildlife from the zoo’s collection of education animals.
WCS’s Prospect Park Zoo volunteers will have the opportunity to meet visitors from around the world, work with others who enjoy sharing their knowledge, and aid the Wildlife Conservation Society in their mission to save wildlife and wild places.
The application deadline for the fall class is Thursday, September 9, 2010; the deadline for the winter courses is Thursday, January 6, 2011.

For more information, call 718-399-7339 Ext. 325 or visit www.prospectparkzoo.com and click on “Volunteers.” Admission to the program is competitive. Applications are currently being accepted. Participants must undergo an interview and be available to attend volunteer training if accepted.

Sophie Bass 718-265-3428; sbass@wcs.org

A Wildlife Conservation Society park, the Prospect Park Zoo, opens every day of the year at 10 a.m. with seasonal closing times. Admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children ages 3-12 and $6 for senior citizens (65 and older); children under 3 years of age are admitted free. The Prospect Park Zoo is located at 450 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11225. For directions, information on public events and programs, and other Prospect Park Zoo information, call 718-399-7339 or visit our website at www.prospectparkzoo.com  

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.