Superintendent's Compendium

The purpose of this compendium is to produce a concise written document which provides all of the special designations, closures, public use limits, permit requirements imposed under the discretionary authority of the Superintendent. The preparation of the compendium is required under Section § 1.7, under Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and shall be made available to the public upon request. The compendium will be reviewed and updated annually to ensure adequate protection of the park resources, provide for public safety and enjoyment, and to meet changes in recreational use patterns.

It is important to utilize this document in conjunction with Title 36, CFR since the compendium only addresses restrictions imposed under the discretionary authority of the Superintendent, or regulations which authorize special designations, closures, or other use limits. The use of this compendium, in conjunction with the Memorial brochure, maps, signs and other media will provide a clear understanding of Memorial rules and regulations for both the National Park Service employees and park visitors. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

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Chamizal National Memorial
800 S. San Marcial Street
El Paso, TX 79905


In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Chamizal National Memorial. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5 (c) appear throughout this document.


36 CFR. §1.5 Visiting hours, public use limits, closures and area designations for specific use or activities

(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the Memorial, and the following closures are established for all or portions of the Memorial to all public use or to a certain use of activity.

The designated times are set by the Superintendent; to preserve and protect the resources from unintentional and intentional damage. To include, deterring any illegal activities within the boundaries of the Chamizal National Memorial may be closed without immediate public notice due to an emergency or severe weather; Or to conduct an immediate recovery or repair project. All exigent closure circumstance will be provided a public notice at the earliest convenience.

Visiting Hours

  • Memorial grounds are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Overnight or afterhours parking is prohibited at Chamizal National Memorial.

Chamizal gates are closed daily to reduce the risk of vandalism to park resources.

  • Cultural Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except Federal Holidays. Cultural Center includes the visitor center and information desk, lobby, museum, bookstore and gallery.

Facilities may be open for additional hours related to a special event or special use permit.

  • Administrative Office is open 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Administrative areas are closed to public use. Non-employees doing business with the park may enter and remain in these areas when invited and escorted by park staff. Delivery company personnel may enter these areas when making deliveries or pick-ups.

  • Entire Memorial is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day(s).


During periods of high visitation, special events, staffing shortages, or natural events including storms and natural disasters, or sensitive species activity, roads to park features or park areas may be closed temporarily to ensure visitor safety and control, and to protect natural resources. Closures will be identified by signs along restricted areas, maps, media notifications, and/or closing of access routes through barricades or gates.

Park management reserves the right to implement emergency closures on a temporary basis any time public safety or other concerns arise.

(a)(2) The Superintendent may designate areas for a specific use or activity or impose conditions or restrictions on a use or activity. The following restrictions and/or conditions are in effect for the specific uses or activities noted:

Chamizal Storm-Water Pump Station Closed to the Public at all times:
The Chamizal Storm Water Pump Station is located in the southeast corner of the park boundary. Access to the pump station is restricted on the north and west side by a rock wall approximately eight feet tall, on the east side by a chain link fence and an international port of entry, and finally, on the south side by a rock wall approximately six feet tall and a gate. The pump station and the area inside the walls of the pump station, as well as the storm water pipes running through the park and into the pump station are to be closed to the public. Access is only granted to storm water employees for official use, law enforcement personnel, and emergency services. The restricted area will be signed appropriately, “Area Closed – Authorized Personnel Only”. The signs will be placed in visible locations, on the outside of each wall, and next to the gate on the south side of the pump station.

The Chamizal Storm-Water Pump Station is closed to public use due to safety hazards of potential falls approximately 25-30 feet with low light during the night hours. The Pump Station also has sensitive equipment for the management of city storm water and for Law Enforcement purposes the public should not have access to.

An map showing the closed area at the southwest corner of Chamizal National Memorial.
Map detail of the Storm-Water Pump Station area closure.

NPS Photo: Chamizal National Memorial


(a)(3) The Superintendent may designate areas for a specific use or activity or impose conditions or restrictions on a use or activity. The following restrictions and/or conditions are in effect for the specific uses or activities noted:

The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links).This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, and drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.


Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Chamizal National Memorial is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.

This regulation is necessary to maintain public health and safety and avoid conflict among visitor use activities and no less restrictive measures will suffice due to the relatively small size of the Memorial and its immediate proximity to the international border crossing and boundary with Mexico.


It is prohibited to remove materials already deposited in government refuse receptacles. Climbing onto or into refuse receptacles is also strictly prohibited.

This creates health and safety issues when climbing into and removing items from dumpsters.

Glass Containers

No person shall use or possess any glass beverage bottle or other glass beverage container on Memorial grounds.

Broken glass can be a potential hazard to the public.

Model Rockets

It is prohibited for any person to launch or fly model rockets powered by ignitable fuels or to propel objects such as arrows, javelins, golf balls, stones, hard balls, missiles, or using other instrument(s) capable of throwing a projectile on Memorial grounds.

Due to the resources in the memorial, explosives can be a potential fire safety.

Playground Equipment

On Memorial grounds, no person shall bring in, set-up, use, or allow others to use, amusement park style equipment or structures such as: jumping balloons, trampolines, climbing walls, dunk- tanks, swing-sets, or other similar playground equipment.

This is known to be a potential safety issue to the resources and the visitors.


Games or other activities which damage turf or other vegetation are prohibited. For example, horseshoes or “wachas” may not be played on turf areas but are authorized in the non-turfed, dirt areas of the southwest corner of the grounds.

Certain sports at the Memorial have an impact on the park resources and the visitor experience.


36 CFR §1.6 Activities that require a permit

(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is usually required.

  • 2.4 Weapons, traps and nets (B)(e)1-4

  • Research specimens

  • 2.11 Picnicking

  • 2.12 Audio disturbances
    Operation of a public address system or amplification system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to 36 CFR 2.50/2.51.

  • 2.37 Noncommercial soliciting

  • 2.50 Special events
    Special Events – sports events, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, ceremony, wedding, organized event and similar activities

  • 2.51 Demonstrations and designated available park areas
    Demonstrations – including picketing, speechmaking, marching, vigils, religious services and other public expressions of views for groups of 26 or greater

  • 2.52 Sale of printed matter and the distribution of printed matter and other message-bearing items

  • 5.3 Business operations

  • 5.5 Commercial filming, still photography, and audio recording

  • 5.7 Construction of buildings or other facilities
    Construction – requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States

  • 14.7 Rights-of-Way

  • 43 CFR part 5, Subpart A Commercial filming, still photography involving sets, props, or models


36 CFR §2.1 Preservation of natural, cultural and archeological resources

(a)(4) No dead wood on the ground may be collected for use.

It is prohibited for any person to climb into trees or to attach any rope, wire, or other contrivances to any tree or plant on Memorial grounds.

This leads to unattended fires, and damage to the memorial resources.

(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, or berries may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in reasonable quantities. These natural products may be collected without negatively impacting the growth and replenishment of the producing plant:

  • Prickly pear cactus fruit (also known as “tunas” [pl] in Spanish)

The Superintendent has determined that hand collection of cactus fruit will not have a negative impact on natural resources.

36 CFR §2.2 Wildlife protection

(b)(4)(d) Transporting lawfully taken wildlife through the park is prohibited.

(b)(4)(e) All areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light, except as required by official Government business or specifically permitted scientific studies.

Wildlife at Chamizal is protected by federal law.

36 CFR §2.11 Picnicking

Picnicking is allowed on Memorial grounds and in designated picnic areas except in areas closed by the superintendent by §1.5.

The following designated areas are closed to picnicking:

  • Within and between the buildings and structures of the cultural center complex, specifically within the area known as the “Spanish garden” which includes the entire breezeway and the garden shade canopy.

  • On roadways or parking lot(s) surfaces that are designated for motor vehicle travel.

There are sufficient designated picnic tables at each of these locations with available trash and recycling containers.

36 CFR § 2.12 Audio disturbances

The following are prohibited:
Operating motorized equipment or machinery such as an electric generating plant (generator), motor vehicle, motorized toy, or an audio device such as a radio, television set, tape deck or musical instrument, in a manner (i) That exceeds a noise level of 60 decibels measured on the A- weighted scale at 50 feet; or, if below that level, nevertheless; (ii) makes noise which is unreasonable, considering the nature and purpose of the actors conduct, location, time of day or night, purpose for which the area was established, impact on park users, and other factors that would govern the conduct of a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances.

Loud noise of any type can impact the visitor experience.

36 CFR §2.14 Sanitation and refuse

The following are prohibited:
(1) Disposing of refuse in other than refuse receptacles.

Items which leave refuse or litter on the ground are prohibited including balloons, “confetti eggs or “cascarones” or engaging in other litter producing activities like spraying “silly string.”

Disposing of or leaving refuse in locations other than approved receptacles causes resource damage, can harm animals, and is a public nuisance.

36 CFR §2.16 Horses and pack animals

In order to protect public health and safety, horses and pack animals are prohibited on all Memorial grounds, unless otherwise permitted by the Superintendent.

Note: These conditions do not apply to the use of horses by authorized government officials and public safety-related operations such as crowd control.

Horses are prohibited in all Memorial compounds without a permit from the park Superintendent.

36 CFR §2.21 Smoking

The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking:

  • At all times within all federal government owned buildings of the Memorial and in any government owned or leased vehicles.

  • When posted during scheduled events in the “amphitheater” also designated as the “bowl” including all the grounds, turf, and facilities within the curb-line of the inner circle of the main access roadway forming a circular area including the entire outdoor stage structure on the southern end.

These restrictions are intended to reduce any possible conflict between users and harmful effects of second-hand smoke and protect park structures from fire danger or smoke. This prohibition is consistent with federal law.

In order to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire and for the health and wellness of staff and visitors, smoking is prohibited inside of all park buildings.

36 CFR §2.35 Alcoholic beverages and controlled substances

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or to the possession of a bottle, aluminum can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed.

Required due to the history of large amounts of alcohol consumption in the park which could potentially lead to disorderly conduct and vandalism in buildings.

36 CFR §2.37 – Noncommercial Soliciting

Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods or services is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit that has been issued under 36 CFR §2.50, §2.51, or §2.52.

This can potentially lead to unsolicited gifts from vendors.

36 CFR § 2.51 Public assemblies and meetings

First Amendment activities that do not require a permit under 36 C.F.R. § 2.51(b)(1) and 36 C.F.R. § 2.52(b)(1) because they involve groups of 25 persons or fewer may occur in the following location:
On the esplanade south of the visitor center, and immediately south of the Benito Juarez Child to Man statue and the two self-standing walls; and extending nearly to the southern barrier between the esplanade and the grass, and extending east, west, and south to nearly the concrete barriers to the grass areas. To assure visitor access to the statue and the sidewalk to the grass area to the south of the designated area and the esplanade, the designated area is separated from the statue to the north by two rows of paver triangles, and on the east, west, and south, by one row of paver triangles from the concrete barriers. The trapezoid-shaped area measures approximately 20' X 50', or 1000 square feet.

Groups of 26 or more require a permit before using the designated area.

This site may not be available at any given time due to other scheduled or unscheduled park functions or events. This area is designated on the attached map (Appendix 1). Visitors may not be approached outside these areas or anywhere else beyond the limits described.

These designated areas are in close proximity to primary visitor facilities and provide safe gathering places for demonstrations and or distribution of printed matter. Use of sidewalks and park buildings for demonstrations is prohibited to allow for safe visitor access to park facilities.

36 CFR §2.52 Sale or distribution of printed matter

The sale or distribution of printed materials is allowed by permit only in the areas described in the public assembly areas (see Appendix 1) Visitors may not be approached.

These designated areas are in close proximity to primary visitor facilities and provide safe gathering places for demonstrations and/or sale or distribution of printed matter. Use of sidewalks and park buildings for demonstrations is prohibited to allow for safe visitor access to park facilities.


36 CFR §4.10 Travel on park roads and routes

Operating a motor vehicle is prohibited except on park roads, in parking areas and on routes and area designated for off road motor vehicle use: the paved (“black-top”) main access roadway, utility access road behind the cultural center, and in designated public parking areas.

Segways, motorized scooters, electric cars, go-carts, and similar vehicles are prohibited.

Any park visitor with a disability is permitted to use an electric personal assistive mobility device (Segway) and similar devices throughout the Memorial, including all structures, facilities, park roads, sidewalks, trails, and other surfaces when such devices are used by a mobility- impaired person for locomotion for the sole purpose of mobility assistance. In effect, use is authorized anywhere a motorized wheelchair is allowed.

Finally, use of any mobility assistive device, as outlined above, must also adhere to the following:

  • No person under 16 years of age may operate a Segway unless supervised by an adult.

  • A person shall operate any mobility assistive device in a safe and responsible manner, and when on pedestrian surfaces (i.e., sidewalks or trails) the maximum speed will not exceed more than 6 M.P.H., this so as not to endanger oneself or any other Memorial visitor.

  • A person riding any mobility assistive device upon and along a sidewalk, while crossing a roadway in a crosswalk, or on any other surface shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

  • Access through the “festival style” seating area of the Bowl during special events in the amphitheater is difficult by disabled visitors utilizing Segway’s or similar devices. Visitors wishing such access must use and operate at a speed and in a manner which ensures the safety of themselves and all other visitors.

This prohibition does not apply to National Park Service, State, or local emergency services during the performance of official duties.

36 CFR §4.12 Traffic control devices and §4.13 Obstructing traffic

All vehicles entering the Memorial will follow the direction of travel and follow posted traffic signs throughout the Memorial. Vehicles will not obstruct roadways, sidewalks, ramps, fire hydrants and loading and unloading zones only.

This allows for better flow of traffic.

CFR §4.21 Speed limits

The following maximum speed limit(s) are established and posted for the roads and parking areas as indicated:

  • 15 MPH (as posted) on main access road and paved main parking lot area(s).

  • 10 MPH when otherwise posted with temporary signage, for special events or special circumstances.

  • 5 MPH in the gravel secondary parking in the southwest corner of the Memorial.

For the safety of Chamizal resources and the visitors.

36 CFR §4.30 Bicycles

Bicycles must be ridden on the right-hand side of traveled roads, in the same direction of travel as all other vehicular traffic, and in general, conform with all state and federal vehicle traffic regulations.

The term ‘e-bike’ means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).

E-bikes are allowed at Chamizal National Memorial where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h) (2)-(5)

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Chamizal National Memorial is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

Bicycle use is very common throughout the park and there are excellent multi-use trails within the memorial. When possible due to certain areas of the park and trails it would be a good practice to walk bikes to reduce the risk of accident/injury.

36 CFR §5.3 Business operations

When engaging or soliciting any business on Memorial grounds, a special use permit, contract, or written agreement will be required and will need to be approved by the Superintendent.



Aerial perspective of park cultural center and office building with paved area extending along the bottom side of them. A trapezoid-shaped area is highlighted on the paved walkway in front of the cultural center.
First Amendment assembly area
Aerial perspective of park cultural center and office building with paved area extending along the bottom side of them. A trapezoid-shaped area is highlighted on the paved walkway in front of the cultural center.
First Amendment assembly area

Last updated: June 25, 2024

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El Paso, TX 79905



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