Special Use Permits

A Special Park Use is an activity that takes place in a park area and provides a benefit to an individual, group or organization rather than the public at large; requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest. Special events may be permitted provided there is a meaningful association between the park area and the events, the observance contributes to visitor understanding of the significance of the park area, and a permit has been issued by the Superintendent. A special event may be permitted only if the activity has been judged by the Superintendent not to cause any derogation of the values and purposes for which the park was established, unless directly and specifically authorized by Federal law.

Learn more about permits at John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site in the Superintendent's Compendium.

Permit applications require a $50 non-refundable processing fee and must be received by the park at least 1 month prior to proposed activity. Your submission of an application does not guarantee approval of a permit. If you are considering using the park for anything beyond the activities associated with a typical visit, please contact the park ahead of time. Follow the links below for permit applications and further information.

The following are examples of activities that require a permit:

  • Special events, such as performances, sporting events, pageants, celebrations, regattas, public spectator attractions, entertainment, ceremo­nies, historical reenactments, fairs, and festivals

  • Filming and some still photography (see below)
  • Any use that falls outside the public hours of operation (sunrise to sundown)
  • Any use of a park structure
  • First Amendment Activities with over 25 participants

  • Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising.
  • Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods, or services (pursuant to the terms and condions of a permit issued under 36 CFR §2.50, 2.51, or 2.52)

  • Advertisements (display, posting, or distribution).

  • Engaging in or soliciting any business.

  • Memorialization

    • (a) Erection of monuments (requires approval from Regional Director).

    • (b) Scattering of ashes from human cremation.

Please note: Weddings are not currently permitted.

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are Constitutional Rights. However, the courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources. Therefore, all First Amendment activities with over 25 participants require special use permits, and the park may regulate the time, place, and manner in which they are conducted. First Amendment activities with less than 25 participants who utilize designated areas do not require a permit. Some examples of special events that require permits are:

  • Distribution and/or sale of printed matter
  • Religious services
  • Scattering of ashes
  • Public demonstrations or assemblies, etc.
  • Collecting signatures for petitions

Effective October 28, 2022, the National Park Service rescinded interim guidance that was in place during litigation regarding commercial filming and has returned to longstanding laws and regulations governing commercial filming in parks. Questions and answers about filming and still photography permits are discussed in detail here by the National Park Service: Filming and Still Photography Permits.

Special Use Permit Forms

If you have questions, please e-mail Supervisory Park Ranger Jason Atsales.

Application for Special Use Permit (form 10-930)
Word document (836 KB)

Last updated: November 18, 2022

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