Volunteer Engagement Award

About the Volunteer Engagement Award

The Volunteer Engagement Award was developed in 2015 by the Volunteer Management Committee and highlights the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' recognition of achievement by an AZA member institution in volunteer program development. Programs will be judged on their ability to engage volunteers in the overall mission and operation of the organization.
NOTE: The VMC revisted and streamlined the Application and Guidelines for 2019.

If there is any question as to what constitutes an eligible project, please email Barbara Pueschel or call 301-244-3326.

How to Submit an Application

2019 Application and Guidelines are below. Applications are due on Monday, June 3, 2019.

Download the Volunteer Engagement Award application (DOC)
Guidelines for Submission (PDF)
Remember to submit a Media Release Form (DOC) with your application.

All Honors and Awards applications must be submitted in electronic format ONLY and must be compiled into one PDF. Please make sure the file name reflects both the award name and the institution. AZA has contracted with Webcargo to provide a quick and easy way for you to submit your application. Send your application via Webcargo.

Volunteer Engagement Award Recipients

See past recipients' application materials (member log in required)

2018 Top Honors

  • Houston Zoo, Inc. for Houston Zoo Volunteers: An Empowered Culture

2018 Significant Achievement

  • Seattle Aquarium for Youth Ocean Advocates Volunteer Program

2018 Innovation

  • Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens for Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens Volunteer Program

2017 Top Honors

  • John G. Shedd Aquarium for Shedd Aquarium's Guest Engagement Volunteer Program

2017 Significant Achievement

  • Lincoln Park Zoo for Lincoln Park Zoo's Volunteer Program

2017 Innovation

  • Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute for Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) Volunteer Program
  • The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore for 141-derful years as an urban oasis

2016 Significant Achievement

  • California Academy of Sciences for Volunteer Services Across the Academy
  • Minnesota Zoo for Minnesota Zoo Volunteers: 3 million Hours of Engaging & Inspiring Action to Save Wildlife

2015 Innovation
Seattle Aquarium - Beach Naturalist Program

2015 Significant Achievement

  • Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo for 40+ Years of Engaging Volunteers
  • Woodland Park Zoo for Woodland Park Zoo Volunteer Program

2015 Top Honors
San Diego Zoo Global for San Diego Zoo Global Volunteer Engagement

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