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Special Event & Activity Permits

Metroparks Special Event/Activity Permits cater to Community Led Events or Activities that offer benefits to specific individuals, groups, or organizations rather than the broader public. These permits necessitate a level of management control to safeguard park resources and the public interest, ensuring they comply with applicable laws and regulations.

Each Special Event/Activity Application undergoes a thorough review on an individual basis. Depending on the nature of the event, it may require general liability insurance or other specific insurance coverage.

Permit Fees

All approved permits carry a standard $25 base permit fee. Additional charges might apply, determined by specific requirements such as park impact, usage or impact on facilities like shelters or buildings, closure of park areas to the public, among other factors. These additional fees aim to accommodate the unique needs of each permit request and protect visitor experience to the broader public.

Permit Types

Special Event/Activity Permit
Base Permit Fee $25


Metroparks Special Activity Permits are required for Community Led Events or Activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large, require some degree of management control in order to protect park resources and the public interest, and are not prohibited by law or regulation.

Examples of activities that may require a permit from Metroparks include community led concerts or festivals, weddings, bicycle or foot races, fishing tournaments, or group activities with more than 10 participants.

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Signature Gathering/Information Sharing
Base Permit Fee: $25


Permits are necessary for organized activities or events that fall under the protection of free speech and expression but require management oversight to safeguard park resources and public interests. These permits are required for gatherings or demonstrations that benefit specific individuals, groups, or organizations rather than the general public and are not prohibited by law or regulation.

These permits help ensure the coordination and safety of gatherings involving free speech while preserving the park's resources and public welfare. Examples may include protest marches, public speeches, or organized demonstrations involving more than 10 participants.

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After Hours Commuter Permit
Base Permit Fee: $0


Regional trails are used for commuting as well as recreation, fitness and enjoying nature. Because trail hours are the same as the Metroparks - 7 a.m. until dark every day of the year - it limits some commuters' options. For example, someone bicycling to work, school or church during open hours would be unable to return on the same trail after dark.

For this reason, Metroparks issues special permits for after-hours commuting on the University/Parks and Wabash Cannonball trails.

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Unmanned Aircraft (Drone/RC)
Base Permit Fee: $25


Unmanned aircraft permits allow for the operation of drones or remote controlled aircraft to fly at Westwinds Metropark. 

Click Here for safety guidelines

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Geocaches in the Metroparks

All existing and new geocaches within any Metropark requires a permit. Please download and return a completed permit application. Completed applications can be submitted by email.

For more information please call 419-407-9700

Click Here to download the permit application

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Research Permit

A permit to conduct formal scientific research projects in the Metroparks. This also includes all projects involving the collection of soils and/or rocks and minerals, and (living or dead) plants, animals, insects and their parts. To request an application please email Karen Menard at or call (419) 407-9705.

Click Here for more information 

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Access Permit

A specially issued short-term permit given to educators or independent researchers who need to access off-trail areas or other areas that are seasonally closed in order to get GPS points, utilize park areas for a university-lab class session, and/or to collect observational, short-term species/weather data. For a permit request, please email Karen Menard at or call (419) 407-9705.

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