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 > East Bay Regional Park District | Embrace Life! > Activities > Permits > Booking and Planning a Special Event

Booking and Planning a Special Event


Why plan a Special Event with the East Bay Regional Park District?

East Bay Regional Park District has over 65 regional parks all over the East Bay area. There are over 114,000 acres of land, 1,200 miles of trails, picnic and camping areas, and several swimming spots making it one of the most unique park districts in the country.  When it comes to planning a special event the East Bay Regional Park District offers many services to make your event easier to plan. If required, lifeguards, public safety officers, additional staff, and sanitation trailer rentals may be available at an additional cost. In some locations picnic and camping reservations are available.

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When do you need a Special Event Permit?

Special event permits are required for events such as walkathons, organized trainings, athletic competitions, festivals, or other organized activities. In addition to the criteria above, a permit is also required for:

  • Events that are advertised and/or are open to the public
  • Events with a participation fee
  • Events that go beyond the scope of “normal” park use
  • Training runs or walks of 30 or more people
  • Non-EBRPD agencies or individuals sponsoring smaller and/or on-going classes or programs 
  • Events that require partial or exclusive use of an area of the park

If you are not sure if your event requires a special event permit or not, please email the Reservations Supervisor SpecialEventPermit@ebparks.org with information about your requested activity and she will respond within 2 business days with additional information.

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Deadlines

  • 1 Year Prior- Special Events may be booked up to one year in advance.  It is strongly encouraged to start the application process as early as possible in order to confirm date(s), location, and approvals. A non-refundable initial payment of $100 is due at the time of booking in order to hold your date.
  • 90 days Prior-New events or especially complicated events require a minimum of 90 days. Some events will need approval from the Board of Directors. This can take 90 days or longer.
  • 60 Days Prior-Last day to submit Full Application for NEW EVENTS.  Applications must be completed and submitted to the Park Supervisor.
  • 60 Days Prior- $100 late fee will apply if certificate of insurance, signed application, event plan with Park Supervisor signature, or fees for the event have not been submitted to the Reservations Supervisor
  • 45 Days Prior-Last day to submit Full Application for REPEAT EVENTS.  Applications must be completed and submitted to the Park Supervisor.
  • 15 Days Prior-Event is canceled if full application is not complete.

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What constitutes a complete application?

  • A complete and signed application by the applicant, the Park Supervisor, Park Unit Manager,  Reservations Supervisor and Public Safety and Aquatics staff, if required.
  • An event plan-discussed with and signed by Park(s) Supervisor
  • An event map-discussed with and signed by Park(s) Supervisor
  • Meet the Insurance Requirements
  • Complete payment of all fees
  • A Permit is the final contract, with all rules and regulations outlined.  The Event is NOT confirmed until the Permit has been signed by the applicant, returned to the Reservations Supervisor, and countersigned by the reservations supervisor.

** One person must be responsible for the entire application process. For example, the person who signs the permit application must be the same person who signs the contract.  This person is required to be at the event. They will be considered the event coordinator. **

** Your permit is not approved until signed by the reservations supervisor **

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Step 1: Tentative Booking

1.  Review all of the steps of the process below.
2.  Contact the Reservations Supervisor at SpecialEventPermit@ebparks.org to see if the date and park of choice is available. (Encouraged to do one year in advance)
3.  Events must provide a written event proposal including the following key information:

  • • Requested date(s)
  • • Start and end time
  • • Number of people
  • • Information about the type of event
  • • Written description (the more details, the better!)
  • • Full contact information as you would like it listed on your final permit. Please include organization name, contact person, mailing address, phone number and email address.

After completing the above the Reservations Supervisor will review your request and respond within two weeks. If the date and location are available, the Reservations Supervisor will send out a Special Event Application. Applications are not available online. A non-refundable deposit is due at time of booking to ensure a firm commitment.

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Step 2: Complete Application, Event Plan and Map

Fill in and complete all areas of the application where instructed to do so including a signature.

       > Sample Application Packet for a "Special Event Permit" Adobe Acrobat

Event plan requirement: You must provide a detailed event plan. EVERYTHING you will need for the duration of your event from set-up to clean-up must be included. If you make changes to your event plan, you will be asked to resubmit your entire application.

A successful event plan will be give the reader a clear picture of what the impact of the event will be to park operations, park staff and other park users.

The event plan should include, but is not limited to, the following information (in no particular order) which includes:

  • Name and description of the type of organization you represent. Is it a non-profit organization? (Non-profit groups must have State/Federal non-profit ID number.)
  • Type of event, purpose and attendance. Open to the public? Activities?
  • Emergency/safety plan
  • For races or walks, what are the event start time(s)? If staggered starts, please specify how many minutes apart and size of waves or heats.
  • Parking plan – Who will pay for parking? Where will participants park?
  • Will entry/participation fees be charged? If so, prices?
  • Timeline from set-up to clean-up
  • Information dealing with vehicle access
  • Extra sanitation trailers – delivery location? Delivery time? How many? District trailers or outside provider?
  • Staffing needs: rangers, lifeguards, public safety officers.
  • Garbage pick-up
  • Early or late gate opening
  • Electric hookup or generators needed?
  • Bounce houses, other activities?
  • Are you requesting amplified sound? For what purpose? Include details about placement of amplification or music, power source, and time/duration that sound will be amplified.
  • Are you requesting to have vendors, food, or alcohol sold? Include detailed information not limited to the number of vendors, placement, permits, how and when vendors will set-up and clean-up.
  • What special services or facilities do you require (i.e., Parking, electricity, trash bins, extra park staff, lifeguards, vehicle access, etc.)
  • Methods of publicity and promotion? 
  • Security required? What type?
** Please review our Sample Event Plan page **

Map requirement:
The map is an important requirement since it shows a visual layout of the event area(s). Depending on the scope of the event, you may need to submit more than one map (i.e. triathlons submit a minimum of 4 maps: one for each leg of the race and one of the expo area). Applications will be rejected if the map is not included or if the map is unclear.

What are we looking for in a map?

  • Easy to read and clearly marked
  • Clearly shows park features
  • Clearly shows important event features including, but not limited to, start and finish location, trails to be used
  • Shows location of aid stations & course monitors
  • Events with vendors or booths must provide a diagram of the expo area.
  • Maps of park trails may be found on our Regional Parks Maps page or on internet map sites, such as Google Maps or MapQuest
  • Mileage tracking websites, i.e. “Map My Run” generally do NOT provide enough detail since they do not show park features clearly.
  • Turn-around points should be marked with street names (rather than mileage). i.e. Turn around at intersection of Iron Horse Trail and Pine Valley Road, NOT turn around after 5 miles.

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Step 3: Mandatory Pre-Event Meeting

  • Arrange a face-to-face meeting with the appropriate Park Supervisor(s) and staff. Find the appropriate Park(s) Supervisor for your meeting using our Park Supervisor List on page 8 of the application packet, or by calling the phone number listed on the park's webpage.
  • Bring your completed application. Be ready to explain in detail the event plan.  Park Supervisor or other District staff may require changes or offer suggestions to the event plan. Be prepared to discuss fees for park entry, services being provided by the park that are beyond the scope of a special event permit and their corresponding fees, services being provided by an outside organization, and any other concerns that the Applicant or the Park Supervisor may find with the event plan.
  • Please review park boundary maps carefully and specify in the reservation request, on the application and the event plan if your event passes through multiple park boundaries. Each park has a different supervisor and the application will need to be approved by each of them. The application may take more time to be approved if there are multiple parks involved. Plan accordingly.
  • Some events leave EBRPD property and use other public agency lands or private lands. It is the responsibility of the applicant to secure the appropriate permission to use other properties impacted by the event. You may be asked to show proof of permission or provide copies of your permits from other landowners.

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Step 4: Insurance and Liability

** Proof of insurance may be emailed or faxed to the Reservations Supervisor. 
A hard copy is not required in order to save paper. SpecialEventPermit@ebparks.org or Fax: (510) 639-4757 **

Evidence of General Liability insurance Coverage in an amount not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000) combined single limit bodily injury and property damage for each occurrence is required. 


The following two items are REQUIRED and must be included in the Certificate of Insurance to demonstrate appropriate insurance coverage:

List as Certificate Holder (required):
East Bay Regional Park district,
Attn: Reservations Supervisor
P.O. Box 5381
Oakland, CA 94605-0321

Additional Insured Endorsement which contains the following language (required):

"The East Bay Regional Park District, its officers, employees, and agents are named as an additional insured with respect to liability arising out of (name of event) to be held on (dates). This insurance shall be the primary coverage for this event."

• Quarry Lakes Events: must also name "Alameda County Water District" as additional insured.

Iron Horse Regional Trail Events: must also name "Contra Costa County, its employees, officials and agents" as additional insured.

Hayward Regional Shoreline Events: must also name “Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, its employees, officials and agents” as additional insured.

Additional endorsements and permits may be required if the event involves the use of vehicles driven on the internal park roads, or if food or alcoholic beverages are sold or served at the event. Please see our Vehicle Requirements page.

Referrals are available through EBRPD's Risk Management Department at (510)544-2163. 
• Waivers - All athletic special events or events with a competitive nature, excluding school sponsored events and training events, are required to have ALL participants sign a waiver. For example this includes but is not limited to, marathons, triathlons, equestrian events, swimming events, and bicycling events. If the participant is under the age of 18, the waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • If the sponsoring organization does not have a wavier, they may use the East Bay Regional Parks standard waiver. See our Special Events Waiver page.
  • If the sponsoring event does have its own waiver it must incorporate the following language: I understand and agree that this athletic event will test physical and mental limits and there is the possibility that I may suffer property loss, serious injury or death.  This could be caused by the terrain, facilities, trail conditions and/or traffic on the roads and trails.  This could also be caused by the actions of other people include in but not limited to participants, volunteers, spectators, event producers, course monitors, members of the ___________________________________, and East Bay Regional Park District employees, directors and or volunteers.  I HEREBY FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY ASSUME ALL RISKS OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS EVENT. ______________(Initial) 

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Step 5: Fees and Payment

Fees vary depending on the size and scope of the event. Contact the Reservations Supervisor for a quote based on your event proposal at specialeventpermit@ebparks.org.  For a list of fees see page 9 of the Sample Application Packet for a "Special Event Permit". Adobe Acrobat PDF

Payment: We accept Visa, MasterCard or check as form of payment. Once your contract is created, you can pay online at EBParks.org/Register.Link
If you do not have a password, use the email address listed on your contract and click on the “forgotten?” link to be emailed a password.

For Checks, please reference your contract number and the event date on your check. Please send checks to:

Attn.: Reservations Supervisor
East Bay Regional Park District
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605

A $100 late fee applies of the total balance of fees has not been paid 60 days prior to the event. Fees must be paid prior to the issuance of the permit. Failure to pay fees can result in cancellation of an event. Vendor fees, per participant fees or percentages of program revenue are due within 30 days after your event. Additional fees due prior to the event may include charges for picnic sites, camp sites, facility rental fees, staffing fees and other fees. Download: Fee Waiver Procedure Guide Adobe Acrobat PDF

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Step 6: Permit

Once the application is complete and the Reservations Supervisor has received all your paperwork, your contract needs to be signed and submitted to the Reservations Supervisor who will countersign it, and send you a copy.  ** Your special event is not confirmed until you receive a copy of the signed contract from the Reservations Supervisor **

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Additional information

Parking Fees:
  • Parking must be discussed with the Park Supervisor at the face-to-face meeting.
  • All participants, spectators, volunteers, and event staff are required to pay parking fees, if charged at that park. 
  • To facilitate easy and quick access to the park, especially for large events, it is recommended that the price of parking be built into the event registration fee. The event coordinator should then create a parking pass to be given out with participant application package. The event coordinator would pay for all parking fees in one lump sum on the day of the event. Parking pass must be approved by Park Supervisor prior to distribution.
  • Parking systems may vary from park to park.  
Other Permits:
  • If first approved by the District, it is the responsibility of the event coordinator to contact the city/county that the park is located and receive if necessary the proper permits for:

** You will need to supply copies of these permits to the District before receive an approved Permit. **  

Additional Rules For Athletic Special Events:
  • See: Marathons, Walk-A-Thons, Equestrian, Bicycling Events, etc. Link
  • See: Swimming Events Link
  • In your Event Plan, a safety and evacuation plan needs to be included. It is also recommended to collect emergency contact information. It is required for Athletic events.
  • At all times, have on hand the East Bay Regional Park Districts Dispatch Number and contact them should anything go wrong.

> For Emergencies Only: (510) 881-1121
> For Non-Emergencies use: (510) 881-1833  

Other Important Deadlines:
  • 14-30 days prior to event-Email or deliver event notification, i.e. a poster including dates and times of the event to the Park Supervisor. This will be posted to inform the public that a special event will be happening in the park.
  • 7-10 days prior to event-contact Park Supervisor to ensure everything is in order.
  • 7-10 days prior to event-If lifeguards are needed, contact Aquatics Supervisor to confirm schedule and staffing
  • 7-10 days prior to event-If Public Safety Officers are needed, contact Watch Commander
  • 1 Day prior to event-If the use of a boat is part of a special event it must be brought in one day prior for inspection.
    You should contact Park Supervisor to schedule an inspection time. See our Quagga Mussel page.

** Contact the Reservations Supervisor, if there is difficulty contacting the people above or if there appears to be a problem. **  

Green Events Encouraged:
  • BE GREEN: Whenever possible, use reusable, recyclable and biodegradable materials. Styrofoam is discouraged. Balloons are discouraged as they tend to get caught in trees and are a hazard for wildlife. For picnics, it is recommended to place a tarp on the ground and clean-up completely. Plants and animals are protected in the parks.  Removal of wildlife or any object from parklands is prohibited. All regular park rules apply for special events.
  • Please talk with the Park Supervisor about possible recycling/composting options for a special event.
Web Publicity Form:

• To have an event posted on EBRPD's website for the public, you may request a form from the Reservations Supervisor.  Once the event is approved it will be posted on www.ebparks.org.

        > Special Events Cancellation Policy Link

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Questions? Contact

East Bay Regional Park District
Reservations Department:
2950 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94605
Reservations Supervisor
Phone: (510) 544-2540
Fax: (510) 639-4757
Email: SpecialEventPermit@ebparks.org