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Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Event FAQ

If you are considering planning an event, class, or group outing at a park, you may need to obtain a special permit or permission, especially if it a commercial operation (not allowed without express permission. Please review our FAQ below to see if your event, class, or outing requires a special permit or permission.

Do I need permission to hold a yoga or exercise class at the park?

Yes. All businesses, organizations, or individuals are required to obtain a special permit to hold any sort of class or event in the park or open space. If the event fits with the parks’ mission, does not adversely affect regular park visitors, amenities, or the flora or fauna, and the organizer has the proper liability insurance then parks management will likely issue the permit. Email to obtain a special event request form.

Can I organize a 5K run at the park?

Maybe. Organized runs can be quite disruptive to the regular park users, so we try to tightly control the time, location, number of runners, and frequency of these events. All businesses, organizations, or individuals are required to obtain a special permit to hold any sort of run or event in the park or open space. If the event fits with the parks’ mission, does not adversely affect regular park visitors, amenities, or the flora or fauna, and the organizer has the proper liability insurance then parks management will likely issue the permit. The parks commission may require organized runs to benefit a charity organization. Email to obtain a special event request form.

Can I do a fund raiser for my not-for-profit organization in the park?

Yes. The best way to do this is to rent one of the many facilities available in our parks and hold your event within the confines of the rental area. In this case, all guests must be invited and you could not recruit participants from the park. If you want to use other areas of the park, you would need to apply for a special event permit. Email to obtain a special event request form.

What does it mean when the parks rules say a special permit is required?

When an activity or item is expressly prohibited in the Parks or Open Space rules, it generally means that we do not want that activity or item in the parks or open spaces. However, there are some rare circumstances that we will waive the rules for the good of the park or the general public. In other words, special permits require special circumstances