The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens received the 2018 Volunteer Engagement Award for Innovation in its volunteer program at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ annual conference during the last week of September in Seattle, Washington.
The AZA Volunteer Engagement Award recognizes institutions with outstanding achievement in their volunteer program development and volunteer engagement in the overall mission and operation of the organization. Bry Sidwell, the Zoo’s volunteer manager has does a phenomenal job in recruiting and retaining supporters.
“Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens has excelled in building an engaging program to provide meaningful, memorable experiences for volunteers—inspiring a new community of zoo and aquarium supporters,” said AZA President and CEO, Dan Ashe. “AZA immensely values the tens of thousands of loyal, enthusiastic volunteers whose hard work helps us achieve our mission to protect wildlife.”
The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens has an extensive volunteer program which includes opportunities for adults, teenagers and groups. Regular volunteers undergo rigorous on-boarding and continuous development to ensure they are prepared to deliver exciting experiences to connect guests to the animals at the park and around the world. The Zoo also partners with local businesses and organizations to provide corporate volunteer opportunities. The time donated by these groups is vital to the continuous improvements made to the Zoo’s animal habitats and guest areas.
“Our volunteers are vital members of the Zoo team and are always willing to step up to any challenge,” said Dino Ferri, CEO of the Central Florida Zoo. “The passion and pride these volunteers have for the Zoo and our animals ensures we can continue to meet our mission as an education and conservation resource for the Central Florida region.”
To learn more about AZA’s Honors and Awards, please visit www.aza.org/honors-awards.