How do I get a special-use permit?
Start the permit process by completing a special-use permit intake form at least 30 days prior to your planned activity. The information you provide will help us begin to evaluate your request related to location, type of activity and requested dates.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the information when completing the form. You can contact the special-use permit coordinator at any time with questions or expedited requests at [email protected] or 503-813-7555.
Forms submitted more than 365 days before the requested event will not be accepted.
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.
Examples of activities requiring a special-use permit
- Festivals and fundraisers
- Self-guided school field trips
- Sporting events such as runs and disc-golf tournaments
- Operation of fee-based classes and camps
- Commercial, documentary or student videography or photography (read Filming FAQs)
- Access to and use of a Metro natural area that isn’t open to the public
- Biological research, scientific collection and harvesting of biological materials
- Organized gatherings of more than 25 people that do not include use of a picnic shelter.
The special-use permit coordinator can help determine if your event requires a permit and guide you through the intake process.
Why do these types of activities require a permit?
Metro Parks and Nature protects clean water, restores fish and wildlife habitat and connects people with nature close to home. Special-use permits are agreements that define how we can protect the land and ensure the safety of those in our parks while helping you carry out your activity or event. A special-use permit provides conditional and temporary approval for activities that are typically prohibited by Metro Code Title X.
How much does it cost?
Cost depends on the activity or project and can range from free to more than $1,000. The special-use permit fee schedule will give you an idea of what different types of activities might cost. The special-use permit coordinator will work with you to explain any estimated fees.
What else do I need to know about special-use permits?
- Some permitted activities will require proof of insurance. The special-use permit coordinator will walk you through the process if proof of insurance is required.
- Members of the Native American community seeking access to Metro’s parks, natural areas, historic cemeteries or other locations for cultural events, culturally significant plant material harvesting, or ceremony space can visit Metro’s Intertribal cultural resources webpage for information and contact information for the Indigenous community liaison coordinating these events.
- Some activities may not need a permit, but simply a picnic reservation.
- Metro’s Community Education and Stewardship team provides programming for groups at Metro sites.
- All special-use permit requests are reviewed by a team of stakeholders that have in-depth knowledge of specific Metro locations and different types of activities. Approval or denial of a special-use permit will be based on several considerations including, but not limited to conflicts with other Metro activities such as herbicide treatment, tour and/or event, or cemetery burial service, and the extent to which the regulated use is consistent with the highest and best use of Metro’s parks, natural areas and historic cemeteries.