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Open Space

Special Event Applications (Open Space)

Did you know you can host horse rides, guided hikes, celebrations, or educational demonstrations at Douglas County open space properties?

Events such as these can be hosted at one of the open space properties but may require a Special Event Permit.


Special event permits

Special event permits are required by Douglas County Open space for events or activities including:

  • 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

Passive recreational and educational events.

Passive recreational and educational events do not require prepared facilities such as sports fields or pavilions, as these events place minimal stress on the natural resource and align with Open Space’s core priorities. Examples include:

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

Apply for a Special Event Permit

To apply please complete the Open Space Special Event Application and view the Open Space Special Event Insurance Requirements
  • Applications are reviewed on an individual basis considering:
    • 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 genereally 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