Organized Activities in Natural Areas on Parkland
Restricted Activities in Natural Areas - Regardless of the size of the group, all organized activities on park land in natural areas which may or will cause people to go off of authorized trails require special written permission by the Park Authority through a Park Use Permit. Authorized trails are those trails maintained by the Park Authority or by another organization under special agreement with the Park Authority. Note: Permission will not be granted if the activity conflicts with park management goals/guidelines.
Activities requiring special permission in natural areas include but are not limited to:
Reasons for restricting activities in natural areas - The Fairfax County Park Authority is required through its policies and mission to protect and preserve natural and cultural resources on park land. Activities which cause people to go off authorized trails in natural areas often disturb soils and cause erosion, can damage archeological sites, damage plants, disrupt wildlife and can introduce invasive species on clothing and equipment. By limiting off-trail activity we can help preserve our natural and cultural resources for future generations. The bench mark for review will be whether the activity will or will not impact any sensitive resources and will or will not have any lasting impact.
How to Apply
Things to provide to help your application - When applying for special use permits for natural areas, you can take a few steps that will help Park Authority staff evaluate your request. These include:
Sites where activities in natural areas may be suitable with written permission:
Activities prohibited on park land
It should be noted that there are activities that are prohibited on park land and will not be approved under the special permit process. Most prohibited activities are legal violations that could result in fines and other penalties. Such activities include but are not limited to:
For more information, you may also view the Park Authority Regulations.