Host an Event at a County Park

Any organized activity involving the use of open fields, multiple facilities and roadways, which include or necessitate the deployment of additional county staff, emergency services personnel, or volunteers for the safe and orderly movement of people, the proper use of County resources and other public infrastructure, and the conduct of activities involving a higher potential of risk and liability shall require a Special Activities Agreement. While we have tried to make this process as simple as possible, please be aware that in some cases, you may need to contact municipal, state or federal agencies in addition to Chester County for specific permits.

Individuals or groups wishing to host a special event on park property must apply for a Special Activities Agreement (SAA). A separate agreement is required to host an event on Chester County's regional trails.

Please read the following information carefully before completing the application.  Please submit the application, along with fee and paperwork during our open application period from January 1 -  March 31 each year. Applications need 60 days notice for processing.


Application Procedure


  • The applicant may be any member of the sponsoring organization who has been authorized by the organization to apply. The authorized applicant must be 18 years of age and available to work closely with the park staff throughout the process.
  • The application process begins with electronic submission of a completed SAA application. Intake of the application does not imply approval or confirmation of the request.
  • During the review process, you will be notified if the event requires any additional information or permits. 
  • All required documents must be included with the application, along with the $25 non-refundable application fee paid through are online system
  • The event is not confirmed until all necessary pre-event fees are paid and you have agreed to the Department's rules and regulations.
  • IRS 501C3 tax exemption letter or proof of tax exempt status must be included with the application.
  • Organizations charging an attendance fee must be a 501C3

Fees & Costs


  • A non-refundable $25 application fee must be paid through our online system at time of application.
  • All costs incurred by the Parks Department in conjunction with the event (i.e. staff support/supervision, equipment, supplies, etc.) shall be reimbursed in full.

Fee Schedule


Standard Fee

$100

Additional Staff Costs (if required)
Ranger or Maintenance - $60/hr
Administrative - $75/hr

General Information

Insurance Requirements


  • Applicant is required to provide a certificate of general liability insurance including bodily injury and property damage in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence with an aggregate of $2,000,000 naming County of Chester as an additionally insured. Insurance coverage must be maintained for the duration of the event.

Rules & Regulations


  • A Chester County Park cannot be reserved for the exclusive use of one group. Access to the parks by the general public must be available at all times. Areas may be roped off or otherwise secured if the Department grants this as a specified condition, but we cannot guarantee that the public will not enter the event area. Please keep in mind that our regional parks are in excess of 300 acres with several in excess of 600 acres; multiple uses of the parks do not normally compromise your event.
  • Applicant must comply with all County of Chester Real Estate Rules & Regulations.
  • The Department, as deemed necessary, may impose special rules, regulations and restrictions.
  • Possession of, or being under the influence of, any illegal drug, alcoholic beverage or controlled substance is prohibited.

Set Up/ Assembly


  • A sketch of the site layout for the event should be submitted as an attachment with the original application.
  • Some events may require more than one day for set up or the construction plan may be too complex to describe on the application form. In these cases, a detailed plan, a timeline listing various times and locations where impact to public property may occur, and dismantling schedule must be submitted. Additional fees may apply.
  • Any request for park personnel support (e.g. labor, equipment, etc.) must be included in the application.
  • The Department must approve all uses of existing and/or temporary lighting. Depending on the level and complexity, an illuminating engineer or certified electrician may be required to certify that installation and mountings are safe and secure. Temporary lighting shall be directed away from abutting streets and properties.

Parking/ Shuttles/ Mitigation of Impact


  • Parking shall be limited to areas designated. In some situations when sufficient parking is not available, the event organizer may be required to provide a plan to transport/shuttle participants from an off-site area to the event.
  • Applicant may be required to provide adequate volunteers (with safety vests) for the purpose of directing patron parking. In case of younger participants assisting, individuals ages 14 and under are not permitted to be positioned within 35 feet of a roadway or heavily traveled section of the parking facility.
  • Unfavorable weather and wet soils may result in park grounds being unusable for adequate parking for an approved event.
  • For large scale events, applicant is required to include mitigation plans for negative consequences imposed on others by the event. Mitigation may include local press release to community newspapers, radio, television and flyers to those residents who will be affected by the event. Notices must reflect the date(s), day(s), time(s), location(s) and types of activities taking place at the event. The notice must give detour or alternate route information if access is affected. A draft sample of the stated method of distribution and proposed list of recipients must be attached to the application.

Toilet Facilities/ Sanitation/ Recycling


  • Applicant must provide one portable toilet for every 200 people anticipated. This figure is based upon the maximum anticipated event participants. 
  • Recyclables generated at the event (i.e., aluminum cans, glass, plastic, cardboard, etc.) shall be collected and appropriately disposed.
  • Applicant is responsible for the removal of all trash, litter, debris, etc. associated with the event. The applicant must make arrangements with park staff to supply an adequate number of trash receptacles, and to have trash and other materials removed from the park/facility periodically during the event and immediately upon conclusion of the event.
  • Applicant shall be responsible for leaving the facility in an “as good or better condition” than the site was found prior to the start of the event. Failure to perform adequate clean up and/or should damage occur to County property or facilities, the applicant will be billed at full cost recovery rates plus overhead for cleanup and repairs.

Food Concessions


  • The Chester County Health Department provides food service guidelines. These allow the applicant to plan food handling, preparation and distribution in the most responsible and appropriate manner. Applicant shall be required to comply with all Health Department guidelines.
  • The Health Department may require permits if food or beverages are to be sold or given away during the event. Applicant must obtain all required permits and to have them available on site during the event for review.

Entertainment/ Attractions/ Related Activities


  • Applicant must ensure that all event activities comply with local laws applicable to noise abatement. If not in compliance Applicant can be required to cease all noise.
  • If a park official determines noise levels from your event exceeds allowable levels, applicant may be required to stop and/or lessen the noise level. Allowable levels are determined by Township ordinances and Chester County guidelines.
  • Banners, signs and similar displays are regulated by rules and regulations. Exterior signs and banners on public roadways may be subject to municipal sign ordinances.

Crowd Control/ Security/ Supervision


  • A plan for crowd control and security may be required as part of the application.
  • The Department may require additional rangers to be on-duty throughout the event, in which additional fees apply.
  • The Applicant must be immediately available on site the day of the event, with authority over all elements of the event. The Applicant must provide the Department with a cellular phone number during the event.
  • Park staff may make periodic checks to ensure proper utilization of park facilities.
  • Event guests shall comply immediately with all directions or requests made by Department staff acting in their official capacity. 

Moving Route/ Street Closures


  • When planning a moving route (e.g. trail race) on or beyond county real estate, applicant is required to submit a plan identifying all road crossings, travel routes and closures. This will be evaluated as part of the planning process. The following must be considered in planning the route:
    • Impedance of emergency (fire, police or paramedic) vehicles
    • Conflict with public transportation
    • Safety of participants
    • Interference with both motorized and/or pedestrian traffic patterns
    • Inconvenience to other park users
    • The route with the least impact must be offered as one alternate
    • No permanent marking allowed
  • Applicant will be required to obtain all traffic safety equipment required. Depending on the type of event, this may require barricades, traffic cones, signs, etc. Any volunteers along the route will be required to wear the current standard visibility vests.
  • The Department may require park staff and/ or emergency services to be on site throughout the event.
  • Applicant is responsible for contacting state and local officials relative to road closures outside of the park.

Accessibility Plan


  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to comply with all established disability requirements applicable to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Promotion/ Advertising


  • The Department must issue formal approval of the event prior to the start of any promotion or advertisement of the event.

Cancellation/ Weather Policy


  • The Department has the right to cancel or shut down an event due to severe weather conditions. Applicant is encouraged to have an Inclement Weather Plan.
  • If you decide to cancel your event, please notify the park at least five working days prior to the scheduled event. Depending on the scope of the event and notification time, a cancellation fee may apply. 

Affidavit of Application


  • The applications must be completed to be considered
  • All supporting materials must be included at time of submission or be cause for refusal to review and subsequent rejection
  • and/or denial.
  • The applicant must be prompt in furnishing information from follow-up inquiries by Department staff.

Contact Information


  • For more information email or call 610-344-5656