Summer is here and your clients are itching to get outdoors—so take them there! But before advertising your al fresco bootcamp or yoga clinic, you’ll first need to touch base with your city’s Parks and Recreation department to apply for a permit that allows you to host outdoor classes in a legal and sanctioned way. While every city has different channels in place for obtaining such permits, a few general rules about hosting classes in public parks include avoiding areas specifically dedicated to a use (think playgrounds, dog parks or a running track) and leaving the park just as you found—with nary a paper cup or elastic band left behind. Exchanging money in a city space is a big no-no, so you want all reservation transactions paid for ahead of time as well.

AUSTIN
Permit Type: Commercial Use of Dedicated Parkland Permit
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Texas driver license; general, auto and workers compensation insurance; CPR certification; First Aid certification
How to Submit: Email to reservations@austintexas.gov; mail to Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Attn: Events Office, 200 South Lamar Blvd., Austin TX 78704-1046
Fees: $50 per six months (January to June, July to December); an additional monthly use fee of $0.45 per client, when a trainer serves more than four clients per day–capped at $1,500 per trainer, per six month permit period
Permit Length: Six months

ATLANTA
Permit Type: Private Business in the Park
Application: Schedule an appointment with Parks and Recreation Special Events Manager Adrienne Wright to apply for the permit in person. Email her at awright@atlantaga.gov; or call her at 404.546.7655
Application Requirements: General liability insurance for $1,000,000 naming Atlanta as additional insured
How to Submit: In-person with Ms. Wright at her office (233 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 1600, Atlanta GA 30303)
Fees: $1,500/year
Permit Length: One year

BALTIMORE
Permit Type: Programming Permit
Application: Call or email the Permits Office to request an application: 410.396.7070, parkpermits@baltimorecity.gov
Application Requirements: Submit at least 14 days in advance; general liability insurance for $1,000,000 naming Baltimore City Recreation and Parks as additional insured
How to Submit: Email to parkpermits@baltimorecity.gov; mail to BCRP, Attn: Permits Office, 3001 East Drive, Baltimore MD 21217
Fees: $35 application fee; permit charges $15/hour, plus $5/participant
Permit Length: BCRP only allows five dates per application, but the trainer can submit more than one application at a time to extend the life of their program. However, they cannot permit more than one year out.

BOSTON
Permit Type: Special Event Permit
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit at least 14 days in advance
How to Submit: Email to Parks@cityofboston.gov; fax to 617.635.3227; mail to Boston Parks and Recreation Department, Attn: Permitting Unit, 1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 3rd Floor, Boston MA 02118-2600
Fees: Free
Permit Length: Because the permit application is typically for a one-off event, you’ll need to explain on the document that your event will be a regular occurrence. Be sure to detail the day, time, length and location of your class series.

CHARLOTTE
Permit Type: No permit is in place here, the city instead requires trainers to enter into a General Instructor Contract with Mecklenburg County
Application: Contact Park Fitness & Wellness coordinator John Kelley at 980.314.1116, or via email at john.kelley@mecklengburgnc.gov
Application Requirements: General liability insurance for $1,000,000 naming Mecklenburg County as additional insured; CPR certification; teaching proof of certification for sports/activities being taught
Fees: Rental rates vary by venue

CHICAGO
Permit Type: Athletic Event — Level T
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit at least 30 days in advance; general liability insurance for $1,000,000 naming Chicago Parks as additional insured
How to Submit: Online; email to PermitApp@chicagoparkdistrict.com; fax to 312-742-5339; mail to Department of Revenue; Attn: Administration Office, 541 N. Fairbanks Court, 5th Floor, Chicago IL 60611
Fees: $35 application fee, $415/year
Permit Length: One calendar year

COLUMBUS
Permit type: Special Event
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit at least 30 days in advance; general liability for $1,000,000 naming City of Columbus as additional insured
How to Submit: Mail to Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, 111 East Broad Street, Suite 101, Columbus OH 43205-1303
Fees: $125 application fee; permit charges $50 (for events hosting 10 to 50 people); $75 (51 to 99 people); $100 (100+ people).
Permit Length: Five dates max on each permit, each additional day is $10

DALLAS
Permit Type: Outdoor Fee-Based Program
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit at least three weeks in advance; general liability insurance for $300,000 naming City of Dallas as additional insured; a completed background check
How to Submit: Submit at least three weeks in advance; Email to raegan.driskell@dallascityhall.com; fax to 214.670.8571; mail to Special Services, Attn: Raegan Driskell, 5620 Parkdale Drive, Dallas TX 75227
Fees: 15 percent of all gross revenues collected, plus cleanup and/or damage to park property
Permit Length: Up to one year

DENVER
Permit Type: Private Outdoor Fee-Based Activity
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Applicants must be over 18 years old; proof of insurance; a signed indemnification/waiver. Applicants must also designate if their class will have 1-5 students or 6-25 students, if they’re applying for Tier 1 (City Park, Washington Park, and Sloans Lake Park) or Tier 2 (all other parks), and if their class will be taking place on “Turf” or “Road/Trail.” Each city in the park only issues a small number of Turf and Road/Trail per season, and if there are more applicants than permits, a lottery system in enacted.
How to Submit: Email to park.permits@denvergov.org; deliver in-person the first two weeks in February and September to 201 W. Colfax Avenue, Room 1.G.1, Denver CO 80202
Fees: $25 application fee, in addition to fees ranging from $100 to $300/six month season (depending on class size, type and location)
Permit Length: Six month seasons (April through September, October through March)

FORT WORTH
Permit Type: Outdoor Fee-Based Program
Application: Call the Parks and Recreation Department to request an application: 817.392.5700
Application Requirements: Submit 30 to 60 days in advance; general liability for $2,000,000 naming City of Columbus as additional insured
How to Submit: Email to James.Lacey@fortworthtexas.gov; fax to 817.392.5736; mail to Park and Recreation Department, Contracts Management Division, Attn: James Lacey III, Contract Compliance Specialist, 4200 South Freeway, Suite 2200, Fort Worth TX 76115
Fees: Permit charges $1,000/year for 0 to 20 students, $1,600 for 21 to 35 students, $2,000 for 36 to 50 students, and upwards from there
Permit Length: Both one- and two-year permits are available

HOUSTON
Permit Type: Agreement for Recreation and Leisure Services
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: To be determined once the application is received
How to Submit: Email to Marisela.Blanco@houstontx.gov
Fees: 11 percent of the program’s total earnings
Permit Length: Three months

KANSAS CITY
Permit Type: Outdoor Fitness
Application: Contact Katie Sowers with dates, times and locations at Katherine.Sowers@kcmo.org
Application Requirements: General liability insurance for $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 general aggregate naming City of Kansas City, Missouri as additional insured
How to Submit: Mail with payment to Kansas City Parks and Recreation, Attn: Katie Sowers, 4600 East 63rd Street, Kansas City MO 64130
Fees: $25/90 minutes
Permit Length: The duration of the event

LAS VEGAS
Permit Type: No permit or fee is is required for outdoor fitness events with less than 75 attendees
City Requirements for No-Permit Events: Don’t accept money on the park premises; Don’t block access to pedestrians, parking lots, or other park users; Don’t use picnic tables, playground equipment or boulders for the exercises; Don’t bring in heavy equipment or truck tires that would damage the grass or park surfacing; Don’t act like they have reserved a particular spot in the park
Contact: For events larger than 75 people, call Las Vegas Parks at 702.229.7529

LOS ANGELES/ORANGE COUNTY
The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks requires trainers to contact the desired parks directly for rates and permission. You can find each park’s contact information via the department’s Facility Locator, which is on the bottom right corner of the homepage.

MIAMI
Permit Type: Permit to Use Park Facility
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit at least 10 days in advance; general liability insurance
How to Submit: Email to Office of Special Events at parkspecialevents@miamigov.com
Fees: $200/month + $14 tax
Permit Length: For the event’s duration

MINNEAPOLIS
Permit Type: 2016 Use & Event Permit Application
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit at least 10 days in advance
How to Submit: Email to the Permitting Department at permits@minneapolisparks.org
Fee: $25/class
Permit Length: Calendar year

NASHVILLE
Permit Type: Outdoor Fitness Instruction
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit at least two months in advance; general liability insurance for $1,000,000 naming City of Nashville as additional insured; current certification from an NCAA-accredited organization; current CPR certification; liability waiver; completed background check
How to Submit: Email to misty.adfield@nashville.gov; mail to Metro Parks and Recreation, 224 25th Avenue North, Nashville TN 37203
Fees: $250/year; sole proprietors must pay 20 percent of monthly gross sales to MPS; business owners must pay 25 percent of gross sales monthly
Permit Length: One year

NEW YORK
Permit Type: Field and Court Request
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: None; upon review Parks and Recreation managers may request for additional documents or certifications
How to Submit: Online only
Fees: Application is free, field fees vary depending on the request
Permit Length: The event’s duration

ORLANDO
Permit Type: Reservation
Application: Call 407.246.2283 to discuss your event, if the date/s and location is available, a reservation application will be sent to you
Application Requirements: Once the application is submitted, Parks and Rec staff may require insurance and/or additional permits depending on the size and scope of the event
How to Submit: Mail to Parks Division, City Hall, PO Box 4990, Orlando FL  32802-4990
Fees: To be determined once the application is received
Permit Length: For the duration of the event

PHILADELPHIA
Permit Type: Special Events, Athletic Events
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit no later than 90 days prior to your event’s start date; general liability insurance for $1,000,000 listing the City of Philadelphia as additional insured
How to Submit: Mail to Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, 1515 Arch Street, Suite #10, Philadelphia PA 19102
Fee: $25 application; site fees starting at $1,000 (once submitted, the office will assess how your event’s fees are prorated/charged)
Permit Length: For the duration of the event

PHOENIX
No permitting regulations are currently in place for outdoor fitness events held in Phoenix parks. If planning to host an event series, contact the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation at 602.262.6862

PORTLAND
Permit Type: Concessions Application 2016 – Commercial Programs & Services
Application: Click here
Application requirements: Submit 10 days before the class begins; liability insurance; additional insured endorsement; city of Portland business tax compliant certificate (apply for via the Portland Revenue Bureau); workers compensation insurance (unless you’re the sole operator of the business)
How to Submit: Fax to 503.823.2515; mail to Portland Parks & Rec Department, Attn: Customer Service, 1134 SW 5th Avenue, Portland OR 97204
Fee: $100 application fee, an additional permit fee based on time and space used is determined once application is submitted
Permit Length: One calendar year, you can renew for 2017 on November 1, 2016

RALEIGH
Permit Type: Commercial Use of Park Property
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit by December 15 for licensing from January 1 through December 31; March 15 for licensing from April 1 through December 31; June 15 for licensing from July 1 through December 31; September 15 for licensing from October 1 through December 31. You will receive notice of approval or denial within five business days. Certificate of insurance naming Raleigh as additional insured also required.
How to Submit: Email to forms@raleighnc.gov; mail to Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources, PO Box 590, Raleigh NC, 27602-0590
Fees: $25 application
Permit Length: One calendar year

SACRAMENTO
Permit Type: Long Term Athletic Field Use
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit by the third Thursday in September for the following calendar year. (If interested in one off events, submit a regular Athletic Field Use application five days before the first of the month.) General liability insurance for $1,000,000 naming City of Sacramento as additional insured
How to Submit: Applications are accepted annually, and are best to submit in-person at Parks Reservations, 4623 T Street, Suite B, Sacramento CA 95819; email to sacrecreation@cityofsacramento.org
Fees: $17/hour and up
Permit Length: One year

SAINT PAUL
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation does not currently permit park space for private use by trainers. If a trainer is interested in offering a class through the department’s current programming, they can reach Recreation Services at 651.266.6400 or email Recreation Programming Manager Gwen Peterson at Gwen.Peterson@ci.stpaul.mn.us.

ST. LOUIS
A permit is not currently required to host outdoor fitness classes in St. Louis parks. To confirm the park space you’d prefer is available, call the Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry at 314.289.5300.  

SAN DIEGO
Permit Type: Facility and Park Use Permit (a.k.a. Boot Camp/Adult Fitness Permit)
Application: Must obtain in person
Application Requirements: Submit two prior to the first day of each quarter; general liability insurance for $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 general aggregate naming City of San Diego as additional insured
How to Submit: In person only at 2124 Park Blvd., San Diego CA 92101
Fees: $33/quarter
Permit Length: Permits are issued by the quarter

SAN FRANCISCO
A permit is not currently required to host outdoor fitness classes in San Francisco parks.

SEATTLE
Permit Type: Expression of Interest Contract
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit a brief description of the proposed activities or investments, along with the application
How to Submit: Mail to Charles Ng, Manager, Contracts Administration and Support Office, 800 Maynard Avenue South, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98134-1334
Fees: To be determined once the contract is submitted
Permit Length: For the event’s duration

TAMPA

Permit Type: Recreation Contract Instructor Agreement
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: General liability insurance for $1,000,000 naming City of Tampa as additional insured; three references. Note that a new application must be filed for each course being taught.
How to Submit: Email to infoparksandrec@tampagov.net; fax to 813.274.5749; mail to Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, 3402 W. Columbus Drive, Tampa FL 33607
Fees: $50/year; $10/hour facility use fee
Permit Length: One year

TORONTO
Permit Type: Commercial Activities in Parks // Seasonal Request for Space
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: General liability insurance for $2,000,000 naming City of Toronto as additional insured
How to Submit: Mail to your local permit office, see a full list here
Fees: $36.80/hour for groups who have 20 people per class, with a maximum 2 hours per day and a maximum of 2 classes per day
Permit Length: April 30th to October 30th

VANCOUVER
Permit Type: Park Use
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: Submit at least 10 business days prior to event; general liability insurance for $1,000,000 naming Vancouver as additional insured
How to Submit: Click “submit” on online application; fax to 360.487.8305; mail to Vancouver Parks and Recreation, PO BOX 1995, Vancouver WA 98668
Fees: To be determined once the application is received
Permit Length: For the event’s duration

WASHINGTON, D.C.
Permit Type: Permit Application
Application: Click here
Application Requirements: To be determined once the application is received
How to Submit: Online only
Fees: To be determined once the application is received
Permit Length: 6 months

 

Regulations on submitting permits for outdoor classes is subject to change. Information on this page is accurate as of June 8, 2016.