AmeriCorps at the Zoo

By Maxwell Gruber, AmeriCorp Volunteer

Team Gold 2 of AmeriCorps NCCC served at the Sacramento Zoo this November, where we had the pleasure of working closely with the Zoo maintenance crew and Zoo keepers. The majority of our service was managed by the valiant maintenance team, with whom we worked each and every day in the trenches (sometimes literally). We assisted in the maintenance and improvement of the Zoo's beautiful grounds and exhibits.

Our first project was to beautify Lake Victoria/Lake Maracaibo and prevent invasive animals from burrowing below the perimeter fence; we accomplished this by laying stones along the entire perimeter of the fence. We also helped improve the Chimpanzee exhibit by hanging new rope from the caged dome and planting dozens of new bamboo plants within the exhibit. A third project was the beautification of the thick-billed parrot exhibit where we replaced dead trees/bushes with new plants better suited for the birds.

Each member of our team was given at least one opportunity to shadow a zoo keeper for the day. We assisted in every aspect of tending to the needs of the exotic animals. Our zoo keeping duties included feeding and stall clean-up, as well as all of the glamorous daily chores that come along with caring for animals. It was incredible to see the Zoo from the other side of the fence, and to work side by side with the zookeepers.

We of Gold 2 appreciate the opportunity we were given to work at the Sacramento Zoo. It was truly a unique experience to work closely with such beautiful animals on a daily basis. We have an incredible amount of respect for the work that is completed every day at the Zoo by the entire Zoo staff. A lot goes into it all. A special thanks to our project sponsor, Valorie Schneider for taking care of us during our stay. We would also like to thank Jason, Micheale, Scott, Nate, Tony, Tom, Amanda, Mandy and all others for working closely with us and creating a fun work atmosphere.

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) is a 10 month program for individuals between the ages of 18-24. NCCC strengthens communities and develops leaders through team based national and community service. To learn more about AmeriCorps NCCC, check out our website at www.AmeriCorps.gov/NCCC. Be sure to follow Gold 2 during our 10 months of service: http://www.facebook.com/AmeriCorpsNCCCgold2.





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