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Open Space Special Event Applications


Douglas County Division of Open Space and Natural Resources seeks to enhance the quality of life for residents by protecting wildlife habitat, natural resources, historic sites, scenic views, and Douglas County’s rural heritage while providing compatible outdoor recreation and educational opportunities.


To apply complete the Open Space Special Event Application and Open Space Special Event Insurance Requirements

Only compatible passive outdoor recreational or educational event applications will be considered.

Passive recreational and educational events do not require prepared facilities such as sports fields or pavilions.  These events place minimal stress on the natural resource and align with Open Space core priorities.

Examples of passive recreational and educational event activities include:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Equestrian trail use
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Guided field trips

Special Event Applications are required for event/activities such as:

  • Events/activities with 25 or more people
  • Events/activities that have a total of 10 or more vehicles in a group, or a commercial/school bus
  • Events/activities held on Open Space property that are not regularly opened to the public, regardless of group size or number of vehicles
  • Events/activities that require special accommodations
  • Recreational equipment demonstrations
  • Events/activities that are not considered recreational passive use regardless of group size or number of vehicles

Conditions of Approval

  • Applications are reviewed on an individual basis considering things such as:
    • Activity details
    • Impact on resources and other people/activities
    • Number of people
    • Number of parking spaces required
    • Location
    • Day of the week
    • Time of the event; properties are open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset
  • Approval of event does not give exclusive rights to a location or parking facility; ordinarily, the open space property will remain available for other users
  • If the activity could cause a significant impact on the natural environment or requires significant departmental resources, other use restrictions may be imposed, or the special event application may be denied
  • Some special events may require applicants to provide amenities or information, such as:
    • Portable restrooms
    • Dumpsters
    • Parking attendants
    • Emergency/safety personnel
    • Event plan

Applications will not generally be approved for activities such as:

  • non-established competitive races or events
  • filming movies or commercials
  • commercial outfitting services
  • wedding ceremony events
  • equestrian events over 35 participants
  • activities that have a significant impact on the natural resource or other users
  • applications that are received without 30-day notification