Minnesota Zoological Gardens Volunteer blog/newsletter

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Why are we doing a blog/newsletter?

Several factors went into the decision to start a newsletter/blog.


Both the executive committee of ZooVap and the AZAD delegate from 2011 brought up the idea of a newsletter to better inform and involve the entire corps.  Many other volunteer corps utilizes one.  After much discussion it was decided an online newsletter was the preferred method of those volunteers that showed interest in helping and the volunteer corps office.  This is a cost effective way to keep the corps up to date on items affecting the corps and also a way to expand material and potentially broaden the uses of the volunteer website in the future to include the volunteer manual, quizzes, fact sheets and hopefully even special event sign ups.


The media group consists of volunteers from numerous days with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests.  We hope to provide staff, volunteer, and animal spot lights, refreshers on bench talks, little seen areas of the zoo, calendar of upcoming events and various other topics.


We will feature photographs taken by members of the volunteer corps using Flickr and a group for the volunteer corps this group will be for the volunteer corps use only.  More information to be provided on how to set up a Flickr account and join the group will be posted shortly.


If you have questions, suggestions for articles or are interested in helping please email mnzoovolunteernews@gmail.com






The 2013 volunteer ornament is a Flamingo.  Should be a great seller as it will be colorful.

The volunteer corps does one fundraiser during the year it is the ornaments.  This fundraiser was started in 1986 and has changed from the store buying them on commission to a solely volunteer corps endeavor.  This fundraiser has gone from raising a little over $800 a year to the averaging about $2300 over the last five years.  Ornaments have been varied but have included mammals, birds, sea creatures, reptiles, amphibians, even farm animals.

The volunteer corps uses the funds raised for many things including: popsicles during the summer, supporting conservation efforts of the Minnesota Zoo, Replacing old radios with newer smaller ones, purchasing some winter coats for volunteers to share, staff appreciation, assisting volunteers in going to AZAD conferences, purchasing animal wish list items, but probably the most important thing these funds go towards are the purchase of artifacts for the volunteer corps to use to interact with the guests of the Minnesota zoo on a daily basis.

The corps are always looking for additional help to paint the ornaments each year -watch for sign-up sheets and announcements.

Some selling suggestions to help sell ornaments:  display a bone clone or a pelt and let guests know money raised through ornament sales purchase these items for their learning experience, explain that we do a different animal every year and this is a great tradition to start, ornaments make a great addition to a scrap book of memories, families can use them to track children’s growth, and that they are great memory triggers when decorating for the holidays with them.

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