Open to all accepted Zoo Crew members throughout the year. Open to all teens, ages 13-17, in non-summer months (January-May, September-December). This includes teens not accepted into the Zoo Crew program.
Spring Adventure Programs
Bobcats, Landfills, and RecyclingJanuary 21
Abandoned Crab Trap Clean-UpFebruary 16
Whooping Crane FestivalFebruary 23-24
Spring Break Big Thicket Adventure March 9-11
Jetty Clean-up with the Sea Lion TeamApril (actual date TBD)
Attwater's Prairie Chicken FestivalApril 14
Canoeing in Huntsville State Park May 12
Plastic recycling is one of the Houston Zoo’s Take Action Initiatives. You’ll often see Houston Zoo staff or Zoo Crew talking about plastic recycling and reduction in front of the aquarium or sea lion exhibit, but plastic recycling impacts more than just ocean animals. We’ll learn how recycling your plastics can affect bobcat habitat and observe a bobcat training session with one of our Children’s Zoo keepers. You’ll get a behind the scenes look at the process the Houston Zoo goes through to sort our recycling and get it to the proper facilities and then we’ll take a trip to Houston’s local recycling center and get an inside look into their facilities and process once it leaves the Zoo.
We’ll meet in front of Gate 8 at 8:45AM then enter the Zoo for our behind the scenes tour and bobcat training session. At 11AM we’ll take the Zoo van to the recycling center for our tour and return to the Zoo by 1:00PM.
Join us at Fort Anahuac Park in assisting Texas Parks and Wildlife and Galveston Bay Foundation remove abandoned crab traps from our waterways. Abandoned crab traps cause significant harm to our native wildlife and negatively affect coastal habitats. By removing these crab traps we will be helping to protect sensitive ecosystems. We will also be cleaning up trash and debris from the shores and collecting monofilament fishing line left behind to be recycled.
We will meet at the Houston Zoo in front of Gate 8 at 7:30AM and return to the Zoo by 2:30PM. Transportation will be provided by the Houston Zoo.
Snacks and lunch will be provided by Galveston Bay Foundation. Please wear close-toed shoes and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Did you know the Houston Zoo is working to save whooping cranes in the wild? We partner with the International Crane Foundation to protect this endangered Texas native species. Whooping cranes are one of the rarest birds in North America with an estimated population of 612 world-wide. The whooping crane saw its numbers drop to just 15 in the early 1940s, but with the help of land protection and public education, their numbers have continued to steadily increase.
Join the Houston Zoo Teen Programs on this exciting Adventure Program to celebrate these amazing birds and see them in the wild at the 23rd annual Whooping Crane Festival in Port Aransas, Texas. We will head down to Port Aransas on Saturday, February 23rd and spend the afternoon on a boat tour to see the whooping cranes in their wintering grounds. We will spend the night camping at the Padre Balli Park campgrounds. On Sunday, we will spend the morning exploring the Padre Island National Seashore and Mustang Island State Park. We will head back to Houston Sunday afternoon and arrive back at the Zoo by 6pm.
Food and camping gear such as tents and sleeping pads will be provided by the Houston Zoo. Please bring your own sleeping bag. We do have a limited number of sleeping bags that we can lend. If you would like to borrow a sleeping bag, please let us know as soon as possible.
We will need to leave by 7am on Saturday to make it to Port Aransas in time for our boat tour so please arrive at the Zoo ready to pack up and hit the road. We will meet in front of Gate 8, which is approximately 200 yards to the left of the main entrance. We will also meet there on Sunday evening when we arrive back at the Zoo. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to spend your Spring Break protecting wildlife and wild places? Join us for a Spring Break Adventure in Big Thicket National Preserve. You will spend 3 days and 2 nights in one of the most diverse landscapes in Texas. The Big Thicket has an incredible amount of biodiversity due to the convergence of multiple habitats.
We’ll spend our time learning about the habitats and the plants and animals that inhabit the Big Thicket National Preserve while learning field research techniques and the science behind conservation. We’ll participate in habitat restoration projects, hike through the long leaf-pine forests, observe multiple species of carnivorous plants, and canoe or kayak through the bayous and rivers.
We’ll be leaving the Houston Zoo on Saturday, March 9 at 8:00am and returning Monday, March 11 by 6:00pm. Participants will be staying in a dormitory style field research station. More information about the field research station and its amenities can be found here. Transportation and meals will be provided by the Houston Zoo.
Participants and their parents will be required to attend a pre-trip meeting on Wednesday, March 6th 6:30-7:30pm.
Once you have registered, more information will be emailed to you.
April (actual date TBD)
Spend the day with our Sea Lion keepers and help protect ocean animals by removing trash from the Surfside Jetty.
We will meet at the Houston Zoo in front of Gate 8 at 8:30AM and return to the Zoo at 3:30PM. Transportation will be provided by the Houston Zoo.
Please wear comfortable clothing and sturdy close-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and/or wet. Also bring a sack lunch and water bottle.
Registration coming soon!
The Houston Zoo is saving Attwater’s Prairie Chickens in the wild! It is estimated that less than 100 of these birds are left in the wild. The Houston Zoo manages the captive breeding program for the Attwater’s prairie chicken. We have breeding facilities both behind the scenes at the Zoo and at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. When the birds hatch and grow large enough, they are slowly introduced and then released into the wild in the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, where they will support the already existing populations.
Every year the refuge hosts the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken Festival to celebrate this iconic bird that calls the coastal prairie home. Houston Zoo Teen Programs will be joining them in the celebration. We will meet at the Zoo at 8am in front of Gate 8, which is approximately 200 yards to the left of the main entrance. Transportation to the festival will be provided by the Houston Zoo. Be sure to bring a lunch, reusable water bottle, and wear clothing appropriate for a day outdoors.
*Disclaimer: actually seeing a prairie chicken is not guaranteed*
Let’s explore the majestic forests of the East Texas Pineywoods. We’ll spend the morning canoeing around Raven Lake and afternoon hiking the many trails throughout the park.
We will meet at the Houston Zoo in front of Gate 8, which is about 200 yards to the left of the main entrance, at 8am. Transportation to Huntsville State Park will be provided by the Houston Zoo. Be sure to bring a lunch, a reusable water bottle and wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wet. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.