Gardens at the Zoo
Did you ever wonder who cares for all the gardens and landscaped areas in the Zoo?
Currently, the Zoo has over 80 Adopt-a-Gardens and approximately 12 landscaped areas of the Zoo, all maintained by dedicated volunteers. These volunteers spend hundreds of hours planting, weeding and maintaining Zoo grounds. This makes the Zoo a great place not only for the animals but a beautiful place for all Zoo visitors, young or young at heart.
In 1998, the Adopt-a-Garden program was started under the sponsorship of the Saginaw Valley Zoological Society with eleven gardens as a way to beautify the Zoo grounds. Each year the gardens continue to grow in number and beauty. The Horticulture Committee is responsible for making sure that all garden areas are maintained and assist with future landscaping developments at the Zoo.
Because of expansions in the Zoo, we currently are not taking applications for adopt-a-gardens. However, if you are interested in becoming one of the many volunteers who help maintain the Zoo grounds, here is some information that may be helpful.
Garden volunteers assist with general garden area maintenance. Approximately 12 areas have been identified as needing monthly care. This may include weeding general garden beds and pruning back shrubs.
Garden volunteer work days are scheduled throughout the season. If a volunteer has been oriented by a member of the Horticulture Committee to the gardens, they may come anytime the Zoo is open to assist with routine garden maintenance care.
Adopt-A-Gardens are assigned each year when space permits, with returning gardeners given first preference of any new available bed. Gardeners are responsible for providing their own plant material and are expected to maintain the garden for entire Zoo season.
An Adopt-A-Garden requires a weekly commitment to weed, water, fertilize and trim plants to keep the garden looking presentable at all times. Neglected sites give guests at the Zoo the impression that the rest of the Zoo is not well maintained. The Zoo has advised the Horticulture Committee that gardens that appear untended be re-assigned.
Gardeners are responsible for assisting with the fall clean-up of the gardens at the end of the season.
Volunteers are needed in the butterfly exhibit to answer questions about butterflies and flowers that are present in the exhibit. Volunteers monitor the butterflies to make sure they are well cared for and may also assist with the garden maintenance in this exhibit. Training is provided.
All volunteers are expected to sign in at the admission booth and accurately record the hours they work each time they volunteer.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Zoo at (989) 759-1408 or email
. Questions should be addressed to the Horticulture Committee or Zoo Director. Thank you for considering volunteering at the Children’s Zoo. We look forward to working with you!