The Great Meadow & Heritage Oak Tree

Photo of oak tree on sunny day
The heritage oak tree at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site provides a lovely backdrop for weddings and other events.

NPS Photo


This venue may not have coverage for the elements, but it can be perfect for large gatherings such as weddings, reunions, and Company events. It is close to East 5th Street making parking to your event easy.

Due to the size of this meadow, we ask that you provide a plan of use for the area prior to a permit being issued. Also, the nearest restroom is the Visitor Center (north) and only during hours of operation.

After reading the information below, please visit our Permit Application Process page or call Reservation Coordinator Eva Dodd at (360) 816-6241.

Venue Specific Information


Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, just north of 1001 East Fifth St., Vancouver, WA 98661


Due to available parking and other concerns, the site can facilitate activities drawing up to 300 attendees. Activities seeking to attract more than 300 attendees will need to be reviewed in greater detail by the park’s management team and will incur additional costs associated with this review.


The venue is open ground and not wheelchair accessible. The nearest accessible restrooms are located at Pearson Air Museum (open Wednesdays through Saturdays) and the Visitor Center.


Approximately 3-5 picnic tables are located in the area. Electricity is not available. As a large, open area, it is available on an as-is basis; no additional equipment is provided. A children’s play structure is located directly south of the Visitor Center and Picnic Shelter.


The site has limited parking available. There are 40 parking spaces available for use in the Visitor Center parking area. Parking on designated public parking areas of East Evergreen Blvd. and Fifth Street are available as well; however street parking may also be used by the public and cannot be guaranteed. No parking is permitted on any grassy area adjacent to the Picnic Shelter.

Reservation Information

To apply for a permit to reserve the area for your activity, please complete an application form and return it to the park, along with a $100 application fee (see below). Learn more about obtaining an application form here.

Reservations for the exclusive use of the area can be made up to six months in advance.

Each reservation allows a four-hour block of time (including all setup, breakdown, and clean up).

Application Fee

A $100 application processing fee is due with the application. This fee is non-refundable, and may be paid by check (made payable to National Park Service) or cashiers check only. Payment of the Application Fee does not guarantee that the National Park Service will issue a permit. Complex applications and proposed activities may require more extensive review; in these cases, a permittee may be charged an additional application fee.

Management Costs

Management costs are costs that may be incurred by the park through expanding park hours of operation, monitoring, supporting, cleaning up, or restoring a resource after event use. They are recovered at a rate of $50/hour per employee.

General Guidelines

Your Special Use Permit does not grant exclusive access to the surrounding grounds, including the children’s play structure and the public parking areas on Fifth Street. For increased privacy, it is recommended that you schedule your event early or after hours.

Due to the archaeological significance of the site, ground disturbance, including the use of stakes is prohibited.

To protect parklands and wildlife, the releasing of balloons, doves or butterflies and throwing of rice, birdseed, flower petals or other natural or artificial material is prohibited.

Due to the natural terrain of the area, set ups such as carpet runners, arches, trellises, podiums, organs/pianos, loud music instruments or related items are not allowed. Flowers are permitted as long as they arrive and depart with the permittee. Please discuss your decorating plans with park staff and consider using the existing landscape as your backdrop.

Torches, fires and other sources of open flame are prohibited. Candles are allowed.

Music, both amplified and non-amplified (acoustic), may be permitted upon request, and must be managed at a level not to exceed 85 dB measured at the perimeter of the event.

Free standing directional signs related to the event are permitted and are to be removed immediately after the event. Affixing directional signage to government property is prohibited. Any posted signs will be immediately removed. Please coordinate with park staff on the placement of event signs.

Inflatable play structures, including but not limited to bounce houses and slides, are prohibited. The park has a permanent children’s play structure adjacent to the Visitor Center to facilitate such needs.

Transportation vehicles, including but not limited to horse-drawn and electric carts, are prohibited outside of paved roadways.

The sale of all merchandise --including but not limited to T-shirts, clothing, and arts and crafts--and vending of food/beverages on park land is prohibited.

Alcohol may be consumed on site, but may not be sold. If you anticipate serving alcohol at your event, please let the National Park Service staff know during the permitting process.

Prior to and immediately following the event, a National Park Service and permittee representative will complete a Facility and Equipment Checklist indicating the condition of the The Great Meadow & Heritage Oak.

All decorations and trash must be removed from the park within the permitted time period; should park staff find it necessary to perform additional cleanup or repair damage upon your departure, you will be billed for these costs.

Additional documents may be required, including a Certificate of Insurance, a performance bond, and/or a permit from the City of Vancouver. The National Park Service staff member facilitating your request will discuss these with you as necessary, depending on the size, scope, and type of activity being proposed.

Last updated: December 29, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

612 E Reserve St
Vancouver , WA 98661


(360) 816-6230

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