A Special Park Use permit is required for any activity that provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than to the park or the public at large. Many of the events that require permits also require some degree of oversight from National Park Service staff.
Ranger Lead Talk Reservations
Join us for a talk about Federal Hall, discussing in brief its history and story in relation to American history. Click here you would like to make a reservation. Reservations are not required to visit the site, only if you are interested in a 30 minute guided experince of Federal Hall National Memorial.
Special Park Use Permitted Activities
For questions or further information about special use and/or short term leasing, contact the Business Management Program at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are the instructions and requirements for obtaining permission for the use of federal space for Special Events, First Amendment, Filming, or Still Photography. It is the policy of the National Park Service – Manhattan Sites ("the park") to allow special events, filming and photography as appropriate and as staffing and management resources permits, while adhering to the National Park Service mandate "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (54 U.S.C. 10010 1) In order to manage special events, filming, and photography, a permit issued by the superintendent is required.
You will need to submit a completed application and a $50.00 non-refundable application processing fee (Except for non-low impact filming and First Amendment activities). Fees can be paid via check, money order or credit card. Please make check or money orders out to the National Park Service. The permit application must be emailed to email@example.com or sent by mail to
National Park Service
NOTE: The non-refundable $50.00 application processing fee must accompany the completed signed application. Applications must be submitted no later than 14 business days before the event.
Mask Wearing Requirements
In alignment with the February 28, 2022 implementation guidance released by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, the following actions are directed based on the COVID-19 Community Level in the county where a Federal facility is located:
A safety plan based on New York Forward requirements must be submitted as part of the application package for events with more than 50 participants.
First Amendment Activities
Please note that the permit application processing fee is NOT required if the requested activity is an exercise of your First Amendment right. Please allow at least two business days for the application process.
First Amendment Activity with Sound Amplification
If your request for the first amendment activity has the component of sound amplification; then a $50.00 processing fee is required with the application and you must obtain a New York Police Department sound permit and submit a copy of the sound permit. Requirements (after receiving approval of your permit application activity from the park representative) If your application is approved; permit conditions will be sent to you for review and a walk through will be required prior to the release of the permit. A permit will be issued and your signature will be required on the permit.
We encourage citizens to exercise rights guaranteed by the Constitution. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect the public and park resources. Therefore, such First Amendment activities involving over 25 participants require Special Use Permits, and National Park Service staff may regulate the time, place, and manner in which they are conducted. Some examples are:
African Burial Ground National Monument Application
Castle Clinton National Monument Application
Federal Hall National Memorial Application
General Grant National Memorial Application
Governors Island National Monument Application
Hamilton Grange National Memorial Application
Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Application
Stonewall National Monument Application
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site Application
Changes to Commercial Filming Permits on Park Land
On January 22, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Price v. Barr determining the permit and fee requirements applying to commercial filming under 54 USC 100905, 43 CFR Part 5, and 36 CFR Part 5.5 are unconstitutional. In response to the decision, the National Park Service issued interim guidance on February 22, 2021, to manage filming activities. Under the interim guidance, filming activities may require a permit if they would impact park resources or the visitor experience. The National Park Service intends to update regulations addressing filming activities that are consistent with the outcome of Price v. Barr. Once effective, those regulations will replace and supersede the interim guidance.
Those interested in commercial filming activities on land managed by the National Park Service are encouraged to contact the park directly for more information about filming in the park and to discuss how to minimize potential impacts to visitors and sensitive park resources.
Do I need a permit to film?
Under the interim guidance, the National Park Service is not distinguishing between types of filming, such as commercial, non-commercial, or news gathering. Low-impact filming activities will not require a special use permit, but non-low-impact filming activities may require a permit to address their potential impacts on park resources and visitor activities.
“Low-impact filming’ is defined as outdoor filming activities in areas open to the public, except areas managed as wilderness, involving five people or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras. Those participating in low-impact filming activities do not need a permit and are not required to contact the park in advance. If low-impact filmers have questions about areas where they want to film, they should contact the park directly.
Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, news and other staff associated with filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors, including park hours and closed areas, still apply to filming activities even if a permit is not required. Check with the park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.
Filming activities that do not meet the description of low-impact filming require at least ten days advance notice to the National Park Service by contacting the park directly in writing. The park’s superintendent will determine whether the filming activities will require a special use permit for filming. Based on the information provided, a permit may be required to:
Examples of requests that may require a permit include, but are not limited to: entering a sensitive resource area, filming in areas that require tickets to enter, or filming in visitor centers, campgrounds, or other visitor areas. The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience.
Contact the park directly if unsure whether or not a filming activity is considered low-impact or may require a permit.
Are filmers still required to pay fees to film in parks?
Under the interim guidance issued on January 22, 2021, the National Park Service is not collecting application or location fees, or cost recovery for filming activities.
To request permission to film please apply by submitting a Special Park Use Permit for the corresponding park site.Instructions for Submitting a Special Park Use Permit Application
Special Park Use Applications:
When is a permit needed?
Still photographers require a permit only when:
How do I apply for a permit?
You should submit a completed application along with the application fee to the park where you want to film or photograph as far in advance of your planned date as possible. In addition, you should request a meeting with park staff if your proposed activity is unusual or complex. Early consultation with park staff will help them process the submitted application in a timely manner.
What fees will I have to pay?
The National Park Service will collect a cost recovery charge and a location fee for still photography permits. Cost recovery includes an application fee and any additional charges to cover the costs incurred by the National Park Service in processing your request and monitoring your permit. This amount will vary depending on the park and the size and complexity of your permit. The application fee must be submitted with your application.
In addition, the National Park Service has been directed by Congress to collect a fee to provide a fair return to the United States for the use of park lands. The National Park Service uses the following still photography fee schedule:
Are there other permit requirements?
You may be required to obtain liability insurance naming the United States as additionally insured in an amount commensurate with the risk posed to park resources by your proposed activity. You may also be asked to post a bond to ensure the payment of all charges and fees and the restoration of the area if necessary.
What about photography workshops?
If you are planning a photography workshop, you may need a commercial use authorization. See the commercial use authorization page for more information.
A special event is a short-term activity that takes place in a park area and:
Special Park Use Applications:
Art has been part of the history of national parks since the 1870s when Hudson River School painters captured majestic Western landscapes. Through their awe-inspiring works, the public came to see these special places in America for the first time. The works captured their imaginations, spurring them to preserve these lands for future generations. Today art continues to thrive in our national parks, and we encourage anyone interested in displaying art at any of the nine Manhattan Sites to read the following information:
Conditions for artwork display:
Artwork will be reviewed by exhibit committee before being temporarily installed. The following conditions must be met:
Frequently Asked Questions for Artist
When will I be notified about the result of my application?
Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis by a committee. Application results will be sent out no more than 2 weeks after initial receipt of application. Applications should be submitted at least a month ahead of the intended exhibition date to accommodate the period for review.
Is there an application fee?
There is a $50 non-refundable application fee, as well as potential cost-recovery fees required for park staff time dedicated to support of the project. The NPS will work with artist to determine these costs following approval and prior to implementation.
Does our project need a permit?
Yes. A special Park Use permit will be issued in accordance with all NPS laws, policies, and procedures.
Can there be a charge for admission and/or private viewings of the project?
No. All artwork/exhibit installations will be viewable to the public free of charge.
Does the project need to reference topics specifically related to Manhattan Sites?
Yes, we encourage site-specific projects that add to visitors' experience, understanding or connection to Manhattan Sites’ unique and important park sites. Artists are encouraged to review the Sites’ Foundation Documents and incorporate the site’s purpose or interpretive theme into their project.
Are projects required to have associated events, programming, or marketing?
Associated events and programming that enhance the visitor experience and understanding of the project are encouraged but are not required. The NPS may raise public awareness of the art installation through its websites and social media platforms.
What if this project requires special maintenance?
Artists and/or organizations with approved projects are expected to produce a basic plan for anynecessary operations or maintenance during the project term. Costs associated with specialmaintenance, installation and de-installation are the sole responsibility of the artist and/ororganization. Maintenance plans may request the assistance of park staff, but are subject tocosts and staff availability.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
General questions about the program and application process should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please fill out the appropriate site’s special use permit application. Applications must include a description of the proposed project in the “description of proposed activity” box, including the following details:
Submit the appropriate special use application form (see "Site Specific Applications" below) to e-mail us. Accompanying the application form, applicants must submit a $50 application fee via cash, check or credit card. Upon receipt of application and fee, a panel of NPS management and exhibit committee members will review artwork based on the following:
Special Park Use Applications
African Burial Ground National Monument Application
Further Information and to Contact Us
For more information regarding special uses, commercial filming, and/or short term leasing at Federal Hall National Memorial, contact the Special Use Permits Coordinator at (646) 476-0882.
Inquiries can also be made via email by clicking here.
Last updated: May 17, 2022