Announcements

Special Use Permits

Planning an Event?
 
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management manages several properties that may be suitable for public and private events. If you are interested in hosting an event at a property managed by RI State Parks or the Bureau of Natural Resources, you may need to request a Special Use Permit. 
 
All events must adhere to current executive orders, regulations and state guidance relating to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
 
Properties Managed by the Division of Parks & Recreation
(State Parks, Beaches, Bike Paths, Campgrounds and some Nature Preserves)
Before applying for a special use permit, contact the Park Manager at the location you are hoping to reserve. The Park Manager will clarify whether you need a Special Use Permit for your event and whether this type of event is suitable for the location. The RI State Parks website has a complete listing of parks, beaches, campgrounds and other properties under RI Parks management. The contact information for Regional Park Managers is listed on each location's page.
 
Properties Managed by the Bureau of Natural Resources
(Management Areas supervised by the Divisions of Fish & Wildlife and Forestry)
Before applying for a special use permit, contact the Bureau of Natural Resources. They will clarify whether you need a Special Use Permit and whether this type of event is suitable for the location. You can go to the Bureau of Natural Resources website for contact information for the Divisions of Forest Environment or the Divisions of Fish and Wildlife listed on each Division’s page to inquire about the need for a Special Use Permit.
 
Applying for a Special Use Permit
 
Step One: Create your Personal Profile
To complete your special use permit application online, you'll need to set up an account on RecDesk.  Go here to create your personal profile (called a "Community Profile") with login and password. Every time you use this website, log on using your username and password. You'll be able to use this account to track your reservations and make payments.
 
Step Two: Request a Date and Complete the Application
  • Login using your username and password.
  • From any page, scroll to the top of the website, click on the HOST AN EVENT tab the blue ribbon, and select All Event Requests.
  • PARKS USERS: Click on the green RESERVE button next to ALL RI PARKS EVENT REQUESTS. 
  • MANAGEMENT AREAS USERS: Click on the green RESERVE button next to DEM MANAGEMENT AREA REQUESTS. 
  • This brings you to a calendar. Click on the green RESERVE button on the date associated with THE FIRST DAY of your event. (If your event is on multiple days, you can provide details on additional days in the form that follows.)
  • Enter a brief description of use (e.g., 5K Run) and the approximate number of people expected.
  • Click the down arrow next to "One Day Reservation - 7 am - 6 pm," click the green + button, and click the blue ADD TO CART button. (You can tell us about the actual hours of your event in the form that follows.)
  • You will not pay any upfront fees. There may be fees assessed when the application has been reviewed.
  • Click the blue GO TO CHECKOUT button on the bottom right.
  • Check the blue I ACCEPT WAIVER button.
  • Click the blue COMPLETE FORM button. This takes you to the Special Use Application. Complete the form, sign and SUBMIT. If the form does not submit, check for error messages on the bottom, fix them, and click submit. This form will time out in 30 minutes, so don't start unless you can finish it in one sitting.
  • Click the NEXT button. 
  • Click the blue I HAVE COMPLETED ALL FORMS button. Click CONTINUE. When you see Checkout Complete, you have successfully submitted your form. You will receive an email notice immediately indicating your request was submitted.
  • After we have reviewed your form, Parks Headquarters or the Bureau of Natural Resources will be in touch to let you know if we can approve it and any expenses that may be associated with your event.
 
Certificate of Insurance
Most Special Event Permits require a certificate of general liability insurance. The amount of insurance required is based on the type of activity you are planning to host. After we have reviewed your application, we will provide details on the level of insurance required and instructions on where to email the certificate. We must receive your certificate of insurance two weeks prior to your event, so please plan ahead.
 
Activities Requiring a Special Use Permit: Parks & Recreation Properties
  • Art displays or exhibits
  • Athletic events, competitions, races or regattas
  • Clean ups (shoreline or other property type)
  • Company picnics for more than 50 people
  • Conferences or training events
  • Daycare or summer camp visits
  • Drone use (approval is restricted to commercial use - no private use permitted)
  • Exercises classes (commercial)
  • Festivals
  • Film, video or photography shoots (small scale, large scale, non-commercial and student-based)
  • Fireworks displays
  • Fundraising events (Walkathons, races, small festivals, family fun days, etc.)
  • Equestrian competitions, shows or gatherings
  • Motorcycle charity runs or stopovers
  • Outreach or education displays or tents
  • Press conferences
  • Private parties for more than 50 people (not contained to a specific site rental such as a pavilion or field)
  • Radio station broadcasts
  • Religious ceremonies
  • School field days, picnics or field trips 
  • Scientific research or surveys
  • Volunteer maintenance projects (scouts, schools, groups or organizations) 
 Activities Requiring a Special Use Permit: Management Areas
  • ANY event with between 10-75 participates (includes spectators)
  • Athletic events, competitions, or races, including running or mountain biking
  • Clean ups (shoreline or other property type)
  • Equestrian competitions, shows, or gatherings
  • Motorcycle charity runs or stopovers
  • Scientific research or surveys
  • Volunteer maintenance projects (scouts, schools, groups, or organizations) 
  • School field days, picnics, or field trips 
  • Film, video, or photography shoots (small scale, large scale, non-commercial and student-based)
  • Daycare or summer camp visits
  • Drone use (approval is restricted to commercial use - no private use permitted)
  • Press conferences
  • Religious ceremonies

Some Special Use/Large Group events may require a license approved by the Rhode Island State Properties Committee (RISPC). This process can take up to 90 days, so please plan accordingly. See http://www.statepropertiescommittee.ri.gov/ for more information.

You will need a License Agreement if your event involves:

  • Commercial Use: If a person, group or organization is making or attempting to make a profit or offers for sale any service or product or charges a fee on DEM property. 
  • Alcohol: Any event or activity that proposes the consumption, possession, distribution, selling or drinking of alcoholic beverages. 
  • High Risk: Events such as fireworks/pyrotechnics; concerts/festivals with staging, special equipment, or carnival rides; large scale races, regattas, or competitions; any use that requires construction of structures and/or equipment to move or install any feature.
  • High Impact:  The event or activity that exceeds normal use of the facility and/or interrupts the normal public use of the park due to scope or size of the event; large number of attendees; large-scale promotion (media and social); events of regional, national or global scale.

Questions?

Email Cindy Elder or call 401-667-6205.