Permits & Reservations

Special Use Permits

A Special Use Permit is required for activities that provide a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, and for activities that require the use of a designated park location for a specific purpose and length of time. The National Park Service only permits activities which are appropriate to the purpose for which the park was established, and for activities which can be sustained without causing unacceptable impacts to park resources.

Please read the information below to determine which application needs to be completed. Each park location may have different regulations. It may be helpful to visit the park's webpage to determine site-specific requirements.

A woman plays violin in the park.
Concert in Anacostia Park.

NPS / Tony DeYoung


Recurring casual sports activities, picnics, weddings, and family celebrations require Special Use Permits and are processed through the National Capital Parks-East Permits Office. These types of Special Use Permits require park officials to recover all costs associated with the permitted activity.

Download the special use permit application.

Special Events

All other events including, but not limited to, demonstrations, entertainment, charity events, races, tournaments, community events, educational activities and training/career events, see the National Capital Region Permits Office for more information.

Construction, Research, and Utilities

All parks are part of the community around them, and certain activities can have an impact on park resources. These activities often involve access, infrastructure, and research. Permitting needs for these activities can be very specific and require close coordination between the permittee and the park.

Research permits go through the National Park Service Research Permit and Reporting System.

For any activities concerning access, construction, ground disturbance, or commercial vehicle use, please complete a Short-Term Construction Permit Application and contact National Capital Parks East headquarters at (202) 690-5185.

For right of way permits, including those involving utilities, please email us.

A woman runs with a football and is pursued by two defenders in a flag football game on a grassy field.
Flag football in Anacostia Park.


Anacostia Park and Kenilworth Park Athletic and Picnic Fields

Currently we are only accepting applications for Anacostia Park and Kenilworth Park picnic and athletic fields by in person. We are not accepting any email applications. Information on these fields and permit applications are on Anacostia Park's website. Mail completed applications to National Capital Parks-East, 1900 Anacostia Dr., SE, Washington, DC 20020.

Fort Dupont and Fort Washington Picnic Areas

Reserve online at

All Other Pemits

The National Capital Area permits office handles all other permit applications, including demonstrations, special events, and commercial filming and photography.



Email us or call 202-690-5152.

Last updated: September 20, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1900 Anacostia Drive SE
Washington, DC 20020


(771) 208-1453

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