• Get away to Gateway, where you can camp and stay healthy with heart-smart activities. Photo by Sebastiano Privitera; used by permission.


    National Recreation Area NY,NJ

First Amendment Areas at Gateway NRA

The "free speech" area at Floyd Bennett Field, Jamaica Bay Unit.

The "First Amendment" area at Floyd Bennett Field, Jamaica Bay Unit.

nps photo

First Amendment Areas for Demonstrations and the Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter

The National Park System has traditionally offered visitors the opportunity to engage in First Amendment activities, through demonstration activities and the sale and distribution of printed matter. These are fundamental rights that we all share and respect.

In response to a recent court decision (Boardley v. U.S. Department of the Interior), the National Park Service has instituted new interim regulations that generally allow groups of 25 people or fewer to demonstrate or sell or distribute printed matter within parks' designated areas without a permit.

Areas in all three units of Gateway National Recreation Area have been delineated for free expression by groups of 25 people or fewer and for distribution of printed matter. NOTE: Larger groups are still required to obtain a permit from the park. Click here to go to the permits page to download an application.

At Jamaica Bay Unit, "First Amendment" areas can be seen here on maps of Floyd Bennett Field, Jacob Riis Park and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

At Sandy Hook Unit, "First Amendment" areas can be seen on maps of Fort Hancock, Guardian Park and Parking Lot L.

At Staten Island Unit, "First Amendment" areas can be seen on maps of Fort Wadsworth, Great Kills Park and Miller Field.

These NPS interim regulations are consistent with the Court's First Amendment jurisprudence, while protecting the park's natural and cultural resources and values and the visitor experience.

Did You Know?

Dimmed and camoflagued Sandy Hook lighthouse at night in World War II.

Did you know that the Sandy Hook Light was dimmed in World War II and painted in camoflague? Homes and businesses within five miles of the ocean were required to use blackout curtains in order to protect ships from attacks by German U-Boats. More...