Junior Zookeeper Program

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Since its creation in 1972, the Junior Zookeeper Program has provided amazing opportunities for students throughout Central Illinois. This unique, multi-level program for junior high - high school students who are interested in learning about animals and the way zoos work. The JZK program is great for students who are looking for experience working with people, learning leadership and time-management skills, and spending some quality time with animals.

Students begin with a year of classroom training & eventually become volunteers! There are both school year and summer components to the program; at the advanced levels, students participate in educational activities October - April, and then volunteer at the Zoo during the summer season. Students can be Junior Zookeepers (JZKs) through summer following high school graduation.

The application process for 2020 is complete. Students are first eligible to join JZKs the summer following their 5th grade year. Mandatory informational meetings are held in early March of each year; students receive application materials at that time. The 2021 meeting dates will be posted here in January.

If your student is not yet part of the JZK program, Miller Park Zoo’s many education programs can fill that desire to learn more about wildlife! And as a bonus, students who’ve attended our programs in the past have an extra advantage when applying for a space in the very competitive JZK program. Check out our current program offerings on the Camps & Classes page.

Want more information about the JZK program?
Contact Shannon Reedy at 309-434-2256 or sreedy@cityblm.org