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Special use permits

Places and activities    Places to go    Special use permits

Get up to speed on hosting special events or projects at Metro’s regional parks, natural areas and cemeteries.

Apply for a special use permit

  1. Download the special use guide
  2. Download an application
  3. Submit your application by email at or by fax at 503-797-1849.
  4. You will receive an email with a link to pay your application fee.

Questions? Contact Metro at or 503-665-4995.

Are you hoping to film a movie, lead a class or host a sporting event at a Metro-managed property? Then you probably need a special use permit. These contractual agreements give you permission to use one of Metro’s regional parks, natural areas or historic cemeteries for a special activity – and help ensure a safe and successful event.

What events require a special use permit?

  • any organized activity or gathering involving  more than 25 people
  • education groups of more than15 people
  • videography or photography shoots, including student productions
  • any event that involves alcohol, amplified sound, animals, equipment or other elements posing a safety risk or public nuisance
  • any event with concession services of goods, food or beverages
  • biological research, scientific collection and harvesting of biological materials
  • use of Metro natural areas that are not open to the public

filming Elaine Stewart with a special use permitHow much will a special use permit cost?

Applying costs $40 for a standard permit or $75 for a more complex event that requires a site plan. Usage fees for the actual permit range from nothing at all for a small educational group to $850 for an event attracting 1,000 people. Some events will require extra fees for alcohol permits, catering or Metro staff presence. Read the guide for details.

When should I apply?

To avoid extra fees, submit your application and fee at least 30 days before your event. Applications submitted less than 10 working days from the event date generally will not be accepted.

How can I learn more about special uses at properties Metro manages?

Read the special use guide.Download the guide

A special use permit is not needed for group picnic reservations at Metro’s regional parks. If you would like a list of properties most suited for special use, contact Susan Lowe at 503-665-4995 or at

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