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Program Policies

Please read this

It makes camp better for everyone.

You will receive a two-sided participant information sheet by email after your space is confirmed in the program. Fill this out completely and return it to us at your earliest convenience. You can scan and email it to or bring it with you on the first day of your child’s camp. This sheet is extremely important. It gives us vital information about situations such as allergies as well as emergency contact information. Sending this sheet back to us as early as possible will greatly reduce the check-in time on the first day of a program. It must be completed before we can accept your child into the program.


Check-in: On the program day, instructors and aides will meet you at the Zoo’s group entrance gate. This gate is located to the left, down the concrete path from the main admission entry. Parents or responsible adults will turn in or complete the Program Participant Form and sign in their child. Please make sure that all authorized pick-up adults are on the form and that the emergency contact information is correct and up-to-date.

Pick-up: When an adult meets the instructor at the entrance gate for pick-up, he or she must show picture ID card to camp staff, who will match their name to the list of authorized adults. If the adult is not on the list, we cannot release the child until a parent or responsible adult is contacted.

Please remember that these policies are in place for one reason: the safety of children attending Zoo programs.


Metro Parks Tacoma strives to provide inclusive programs to all community members. People of all abilities are invited to consider registering for any recreational program offered by Metro Parks Tacoma, provided that they meet the minimum eligibility requirements. We can usually build customized support to suit your needs.

To request accommodation, please allow 10 business days prior to the start of the course. Call 253.404.3950 to receive an accommodation request form (or download here) to be completed and mailed in. This number is for accommodation information only. For program registration and information, please contact



NO refunds are given for cancellations made less than 14 days prior to the first day of camp. For cancellations made more than 14 days prior to first day of program, an 80% refund will be given. A 10% administrative fee will be charged for each program session change (program cancellations are not considered session changes – this fee does not apply to cancellations). PDZA reserves the right to cancel any program. In the event that PDZA cancels a program, all program fees will be refunded.



Public programs staff, volunteers and interns are subject to the following background check policy:

Section I: Metro Parks Tacoma commits to providing a safe environment and will take appropriate steps in requiring those that work or volunteer with youth, vulnerable adults and/or the elderly provide criminal background checks as a condition of their employment or volunteer assignment with Metro Parks Tacoma.

Section II: All potential new/rehired employees and regularly scheduled volunteers that work for Metro Parks Tacoma will be required to complete the Washington State Patrol (WSP) Request for Criminal History Information form prior to the first day of work or volunteer assignment. Employment and volunteer assignments will be contingent upon a clear background check. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring this requirement is met prior to allowing an employee or volunteer to begin assignment.

Section III: Potential new/rehired employees and regularly scheduled volunteers that work in areas that have direct contact or supervision over youth, vulnerable adults and/or the elderly will be required to submit fingerprints for a more extensive background checks conducted through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in addition to the WSP background checks.