First Amendment Activities

First Amendment Demonstrations

Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are rights guaranteed in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

First Amendment demonstrations are defined in 36 CFR 2.51 as "picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services, and all other forms of conduct that involve communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons", and declares that any activity that is defined under a demonstration are "allowed within park areas designated as available under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, when the superintendent has issued a permit for the activity.

Courts have recognized that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated to protect park resources and in accordance with NPS Management Policies and Directors Order #53, Section 7 “a Superintendent may establish permit conditions to protect park visitors, resources, and values.” The necessity of a permit to conduct First Amendment activities is determined by the group size. There are two locations at each individual park for First Amendment activities.

Small Groups—Under 36 CFR 2.51(b)(1), 2.52 (b)(1), groups of 25 or fewer people may demonstrate, distribute or sell printed matter, or give away noncommercial, message-bearing, non-printed matter in designated, available areas without obtaining a permit.

Large Groups—A large group is defined as “more than 25 people” and is required to obtain a First Amendment permit even if they are utilizing a park designated First Amendment site.

The following locations in Prince William Forest Park are designated as First Amendment areas:

  • The field at the north terminus of the Pine Grove Picnic Area parking lot

  • Williams Ballfield

How To Apply For a Permit

Individuals or groups that wish to apply for a Special Use Permit must complete the application and email it to the park's permit officer. Applications can also be mailed to the following address:

Prince William Forest Park
Attn: Special Use Permits
18100 Park Headquarters Road
Triangle, VA 22172

How much does a permit cost?

There are no permit application fees associated with First Amendment permits. However, cost of recovery fees may apply depending on the nature of the activity.

Last updated: April 12, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

18100 Park Headquarters Road
Triangle, VA 22172



Contact Us