Oakland Zoo’s Teen Wild Guides Program Receives Recognition from Jane Goodall Institute

« Back to Zoo & Aquarium News


Oakland Zoo’s Teen Wild Guides Program Receives Recognition from Jane Goodall Institute

Nov 21, 2012


November 1, 2012

Contact: Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR

(510) 632-9525 ext. 130



Oakland Zoo’s Teen Wild Guides Program Receives Recognition from Jane Goodall Institute

Oakland, CA – Oakland Zoo is excited to announce that the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots program has honored the Zoo’s Teen Wild Guides program as the Group of the Month for November 2012. Started by Dr. Jane Goodall as her hope for the future, Roots & Shoots is an international, youth service learning organization encouraging action for animals, people and the planet. Oakland Zoo’s Teen Wild Guides, made up of nearly 200 teenagers, are being recognized for their outstanding and creative projects focusing on wildlife conservation, and was chosen from more than 1,000 groups in the United States.

“All of us at the Zoo recognize the future of a healthy planet depends on inspired, compassionate, and active young people,” said Melinda Sievert, Teen Programs Manager. “This is where the missions of both Oakland Zoo and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program rise together. Through the years, I have seen teens work hard to educate the public about issues such as palm oil and the illegal pet trade, engage in local habitat restoration, and create innovative animal enrichment for our residents. I have truly seen them blossom into young leaders.”

Oakland Zoo’s involvement with Roots & Shoots began in 1990. The Teen Wild Guides Program was established at the Zoo by Amy Gotliffe and Melinda Sievert in 2005. Throughout each year, teenagers involved with the Zoo’s Teen Wild Guides program have the opportunity to earn their volunteer hours by participating in two or three teen designed Roots & Shoots activities. Over the years, the group has raised money for conservation organizations around the world, created teen-led events at the Zoo such as the Asian Animal Festival and CaliforniaFest!, created pollinator habitats, participated in beach clean-ups, and assisted in sending thousands of pencils to students in Africa for environmental education.


Oakland Zoo welcomes young people ages thirteen and up who are interested in volunteering in the Teen Wild Guides Program. Teen Wild Guides participants will be trained as interpreters in the Wayne and Gladys Valley Children's Zoo, teaching visitors about animals and monitoring the contact yard. As teens develop within the program, they will have the opportunity to plan and participate in service learning projects, assist keepers, and gain leadership experience. The teens' core schedule consists of working in the Zoo at a variety of stations designed to engage children about animals. Volunteer opportunities are available in winter, summer, and fall. For more information, please go to http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Teen_Volunteer.php.


The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.

AZA Members: Submit your Zoo & Aquarium News