Request a Special Use Permit

Five Rivers MetroParks protects nearly 16,000 acres of natural area in the Dayton region. The agency's permit program authorizes uses on MetroParks land that provide a benefit to members of the public and protect public and conservation values.

Please be aware that Five Rivers MetroParks is a tax-supported public agency and that its primary obligation is to serve the general population. So it is our responsibility to place the welfare of the general public before that of any individual or special interest group. Accordingly, decisions made regarding your permit application will be based on this premise at the sole discretion of Five Rivers MetroParks.

Special Use Permit applications work best on a desktop/laptop computer. Please refrain from using mobile devices to submit applications.


Photography, Multimedia, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones)

If you are receiving payment for your services or intend to sell or otherwise receive compensation for photographic images captured in any of the Five Rivers MetroParks, a permit is required.

  • Five Rivers MetroParks issues permit badges for annual Photography, Multimedia and UAS permits. Badges must be displayed and visible at all times. Permit badges are not issued for weekly permits.
  • Photography permit badges will be mailed to the account address provided. Please allow 10-14 days from the date of purchase for receipt by mail.
  • Permit badges may be available for pick up on the date of purchase. Please contact Permit Services, 937-274-3127, on the date of purchase, if you would like to pick up your badge.
  • Permit badges will not be replaced if lost or stolen.

Commercial Still Photography:

  • Weekly Permit: $25 (seven consecutive days)
  • Annual Permit: $100 (Jan.-Dec. of a calendar year)

If you are recording moving visual images with or without an audio component, a permit is required. A Multimedia Permit also includes permission to shoot commercial still photography. If your multimedia project is planned with less than 21 days lead time, please contact the Permit Coordinator at 937-274-3127 prior to applying.

  • Per Day/Location: $150

View Photography Policy

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS):
A permit for drone flight may be obtained for commercial or scientific research purposes. A UAS Permit also includes permission to make multimedia recordings and commercial still photography.  Recreational flight of UAS is not permitted from FRMP property.

  • Per Day/Location: $200

View UAS Policy

Apply for a Photography, Multimedia, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems permit.

First Amendment Activity

To collect signatures, distribute materials, or hold a demonstration, please complete our First Amendment activity permit application.

Public or Private Event

To hold an event in any Five Rivers MetroParks facility, including a public festival, competition, ticketed event or community gathering, or a private event such as a wedding or company picnic, please complete an event permit application. Applications must be submitted at least 60 days in advance.

Shelters may also be used for private gatherings, either on a first-come, first-served basis or with a shelter reservation, as long as the group size does not exceed the shelter capacity. Any publicly advertised activity using a Five Rivers MetroParks facility requires a permit.

RiverScape MetroPark has an application deadline of March 1 for events planned for this year.

Facility rentals are also available at Cox Arboretum MetroPark.

Outdoor Activity

To conduct an instructional class, program, demonstration, or guided activity in a MetroPark, please complete our outdoor activity permit application. Outdoor activity permits may be issued for a single activity or multiple activities during a calendar year. Please submit a separate application for each MetroPark where you would like to host an activity. There is a $10 permit fee per park, per year.

Outdoor activity permits do not include the exclusive use of any park locations or facilities. If a specific facility, shelter, or campsite location is desired, a special or private event permit, or shelter or campsite reservation is required. Outdoor activity permits are subject to insurance requirements.

Please review these Recommended Practices before applying.


To place or renew a geocache, please complete a geocaching permit application.


To conduct scientific research in any Five Rivers MetroParks facility, please complete a research permit application.

Other Activities Requiring a Permit

If you wish to set up or carry in anything in a park, or conduct an activity which will be seen or heard by other park users, or otherwise impact the park experience for others, please refer to Section 94.02 of Five Rivers MetroParks Rules & Regulations for a list of activities which require a Special Use Permit.

If the action or activity you desire is not covered by a Special Use Permit listed above, the Permit Coordinator can assist you. Examples of other activities requiring a Special Use Permit include:

  • Off-road use of a motorized vehicle
  • Amplified sound
  • Erecting tents larger than 10 x 10
  • Utilizing a power source
  • Selling anything in a park
  • Bringing in special equipment (i.e., for cooking)
  • Set up of props or equipment for photo or video

View a complete list of activities requiring a permit.

The Permit Coordinator can be reached by email at or call direct 937-274-3127.

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