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Learn about hands-on opportunities at orientation on August 1.

BioPark Seeks Volunteer Teachers and More

A Botanic Garden docent leads a tour of the Japanese Garden. Photo by Amy Landers/ABQ BioPark.

ABQ BioPark Education hosts New Volunteer Orientation on Thursday, Aug. 1 from 11 a.m. - noon. in the Zoo's Colores Education Building. The public is invited to learn more about being a docent at the Zoo, Aquarium or Botanic Garden. We will also share information about being a BioVan Ranger, Greeter, Horticulture, Garden Railroad and Touchpool Volunteer.

Volunteers are a vital part of the BioPark and provide education and outreach to children and adults both on-grounds and throughout the state. In fiscal year 2013, volunteers donated more than 31,000 hours to the facilities. The Zoo, Aquarium, Botanic Garden and Tingley Beach would not be nearly as vibrant and engaging without these contributions! Volunteer benefits include free regular admission to BioPark facilities, continuing education and a chance to meet people with similar interests.

"There are so many opportunities to be part of the BioPark, and we have a niche for anyone who loves nature," said Kathryn Venzor, Education Curator. "You can learn about plants and animals from around the world and help raise awareness for your favorites. Some volunteers are here several times a week, and others come just a few times a month. We have volunteer roles that are perfect for outgoing personalities, and other roles that provide important behind-the-scenes support. And all of our volunteers are part of this amazing team that really brings the BioPark to life."

New Volunteer Orientation kicks off the fall docent training classes. Docents, or volunteer teachers, take 12 Thursday classes that prepare them to teach about the diversity of life and conservation. Other types of BioPark volunteers, including BioVan Rangers, Greeters and Touchpoolers, can start after a single day of training and several shadowing experiences.

No admission fee is required. Let the Zoo Cashier know you are here for orientation, and then look for BioPark volunteers inside to direct you to Colores. You do not need to sign up in advance, but you are welcome to RSVP at www.abqbiopark.com/volunteer or 505-848-7172. If you are unable to attend, you can also fill out an interest form online to learn more about these unique opportunities.

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