Special Use Permits
Do You Need a Special Use Permit?
Special use permits are required for events that go beyond the scope of routine park use. Examples of events requiring a permit are listed below:
- Catered picnics
- Events that are advertised and/or are open to the public
- Events with a participation fee
- Athletic/sports events – walking/running/cycling, cross country/track, athletic field use, etc.
- Events in which someone is hired to be on-site (caterer, vendor, etc.)
- Group events with more than 24 individuals
- Outdoor programs/classes
- Any type of business conducted within a park
Cultural or Religious Ceremonies
- Wedding (formal, informal, elopement, etc.)
- Bar/Bat Mitzvah
- Boy/Girl Scouts - (Court of Honor, Badging, Bridging, etc.)
- Individual or portrait Photography: The fee for individual/portrait photography is $50 per park for 6 months or $100 per park for 12 months.
- Commercial film/photography: Used for filming, photography or videotaping of print ads, commercials, movies, videos, etc. Fee varies depending on number of days/people/vehicles, etc.
A special use permit is required for most scientific research, activities or studies conducted in a park and that pertains to natural resources, including field work, specimen collection and data collection.
A special use permit is required for educational events and activities must be directly linked to curriculum-related learning.
Not all events requiring a special-use permit are listed above. If you are planning anything other than a routine barbecue or potluck, please contact our reservations office at (707) 565-2041 to discuss the need for a permit. Applications must be submitted at least 30 days in advance and no more than one year prior to the event.
If interested in booking a group picnic site, please visit call our reservations office and choose the option for picnics.
Bounce houses and other inflatable play equipment are not permitted in any regional park.
Insurance is required for most types of events. Below are the full insurance requirements. Please inquire which requirements are needed for your event.
- Insurance Requirements Sonoma County Regional Parks (PDF)
- Insurance Requirements with Sonoma County Regional Parks and Sonoma Water (PDF)
Special Use Permit Application
For More Information
If you have questions or would like more information about special use permits, please contact Reservations Supervisor Daniel Arsenault:
- Phone: (707) 565-2222
- Email: Daniel.Arsenault@sonoma-county.org