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An agency of the Centre Region Council of Governments, State College, PA 16801
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Policies and Procedures for LARGE GROUP EVENTS
in Centre Region Municipal Parks

To submit a Large Group Event Request, please contact the CRPR Office at (814) 231-3071. The CRPR office is open Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm.

PURPOSE:  The purpose of this policy is to specify and clarify procedures regarding the use of municipal parks for special events or large group events. A Large Group Event (LGE) can be defined as any event that exceeds 100 people, or an open event to which the general public is invited where the number of visitors may exceed this number. This policy applies to:

  • all municipal park areas, including Friedman Parklet, Tudek Dog Park and leased parklands,
  • the community swimming pools,
  • Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, and
  • Orchard Park Amphitheater,

due to the popularity of the areas with residents (for family and group picnics, tennis, basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, volleyball, aquatics, etc.) and for Large Group Events. This process is based upon the ordained responsibility by the five participating municipalities to regulate organized group uses of municipal park areas.

             Since each event is somewhat unique, the Director of Parks & Recreation will determine if the planned event shall be covered by this policy. Each organization sponsoring an LGE must be sponsored by a group based in a participating municipality of Centre Region Parks & Recreation, unless expressly waived by the Director or the CRPR Board. While five of the municipal picnic pavilions are able to accommodate more than 100 people, the limiting factors for all parks involve parking and the availability of other park facilities, especially if more than one pavilion is in use at a park.

EXAMPLES: The following types of large group events are subject to the provisions of this policy:
             - Community events sponsored by Centre Region-based civic or social organizations,
             - Fund-raising events to benefit a Centre Region-based nonprofit group or agency,
             - Centre Region-based company picnic involving more than 100 visitors;
             - Special athletic or sporting events by a Centre Region-based group,
             - Concerts or public performance events at any park,
             - Special events at Tudek Dog Park,
             - Other events as determined by the Director or the Parks and Recreation Board.

             The base Permit Fee for issuing an LGE Permit has been set at $50 per day per park, year-round (including events at Friedman Parklet, where this permit shall also function as a reservation). Events at either of the two community pools are exempt from the permit fee. The LGE Permit Fee is in addition to:

  • any Pavilion Reservation Fees that may be required,
  • at specific parks, electrical service may be included in the pavilion fee. (The Director is authorized to increase this fee if high-demand electrical devices are used).
  • reimbursements for event-related costs incurred by CRPR (for planning, set-up, operations or clean-up).

             As with pavilion reservations, the LGE Permit Fee for State College Area School District-sponsored groups will be waived for Monday through Friday (daytime and evening) uses during the school year (from 14-days prior to the opening of school through the last day of school for students). Uses at other times will be subject to the $50 LGE Permit Fee plus the standard pavilion reservation fee, where applicable.

I.          SCHEDULING    Park facilities (including picnic pavilions) are available to be reserved by groups starting the first business day of January for that year. An LGE must be scheduled around previously-made facility reservations. For that reason, early reservations are important. LGE organizers must pay the appropriate pavilion reservation fees in advance, according to standard procedures. Since Large Group Events may restrict typical park uses, the Director may:

  • deny or revoke permits to any event which is not compatible with the park facility or other scheduled events;
  • restrict the total number of Large Group Events which may be held per year at each park;
  • deny or revoke permits to any event with the potential of overloading park visitor capacity with respect to public safety or facility damage;
  • suggest alternate locations in order to better accomodate Large Group Events with respect to public safety, parking, visitor capacity;
  • move activity locations or cancel specific activities if inclement weather has created hazardous conditions or the potential for excessive facility damage.

  All cases of permit denial or revocation may be appealed to the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority Board at their next regularly-scheduled monthly meeting.

II.        EVENT PLANNING     LGE leaders shall meet with the Director or his designee at least 45 days prior to the event to review preliminary event plans, determine activity locations in the park, and confirm all operational details. A second meeting 7-10 days prior to the event may also be scheduled. Provisions for rain should be made by the sponsoring group with regard to all event operations (parking areas, activities, food service, etc.). CRPR must approve event details in advance. Any tent over 200 sq. ft. also requires a permit and inspection from the Centre Region Code Agency.

III.      PARK OPERATIONS            Centre Region Parks and Recreation is not able to financially assist special or fund-raising events. The agency may assign staff for park maintenance before, during, and after the event (for trash collection, restroom maintenance, special setups/take downs, facility maintenance), based on the potential number of visitors the event may generate. The agency will invoice the LGE sponsors for all expenses incurred that were in excess of the normal level of park operations (such as manpower & utilities), based on the potential number of visitors the event may generate. Only agency employees are permitted to operate agency vehicles and equipment. The LGE sponsors may also be required to provide volunteers to direct event parking and pedestrian access, and to assist with trash collection duties. Therefore, the organizing group can expect to pay for these functions:

  • LGE Permit Fee,
  • Pavilion Reservation Fee(s),
  • Extra agency staff: expense depends on event details; an estimate can be provided in advance,
  • Repairs to park facilities, as required and if resulting from the group’s use,
  • Portable toilet rentals (supplemental) from a private supplier, pending event details,
  • Additional insurance premiums for coverage of the park and, if needed, for any private parking areas near the park (see below).

IV.      INSURANCE       LGE organizers shall provide to CRPR, in advance of the event, a Certificate of Insurance which:

  1. Evidences coverage in both commercial general liability insurance and automobile liability insurance for a minimum coverage amount of $500,000 per occurrence, combined single limit, and
  2. For pavilion rentals, a Certificate of Insurance must list Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority and the owning municipality as additional insureds on the general liability policy.
  3. For Millbrook Marsh Nature Center rentals, a Certificate of Insurance must list Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority and the Pennsylvania State Univeristy as additional insured; in addition, if a third-party is renting the Nature Center and enacting an alcohol, the Certificate of Insurance must list Millbrook Marsh Nature Center (MMNC), the MMNC Advisory Committee, Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority, the Council of Governments (COG), and the Pennsylvania State University, and the general liabilty limits must follow the specific policy noted here.

The minimum coverage amount that is required by CRPR may be increased pending the event or an addtional rider may be requested. Food service operations may require additional insurance coverage, (as well as meeting the requirements of the municipal health department). In addition, other groups or businesses which use park facilities during LGE times (pony rides, food concessionaires, etc.) must also present in advance a similar Certificate of Insurance for their operations. Please contact CRPR regarding specific insurance requirements for the planned event.

V.        PARKING & VEHICLE ACCESS          Parking at all parks can be at a premium. Parking is permitted only in designated spaces. No parking on the grass or in driveways is permitted during an LGE, except with the express written permission of CRPR. The organizers should also make arrangements to furnish Parking Guides (volunteer or paid) to safely direct vehicles to the proper spaces, as well as providing safe pedestrian crossings of nearby roadways.

  • Considerations should be given to making directional and information signs for your event.
  • Vehicles parked illegally on park property or public roadways will be ticketed by Police and are subject to towing at the owner’s expense.
  • It is especially important that no emergency access areas be blocked during the event.
  • Vehicular access to any areas off the paved roadways must be approved by CRPR in advance, including by event contractors, caterers, event leaders, etc.

VI.      COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES       A “commercial activity” involves selling goods or services to the public. Commercial activities are prohibited in all parks, except as specifically permitted by the Director of Parks & Recreation or the elected officials of the municipality that owns the park. In the case of the two public swimming pools, the Centre Region Parks & Recreation Board must approve all requests for commercial activities. Organizers must allow 60 days prior to the event to obtain the necessary approvals.

VII.     FEES TO PARTICIPANTS            No private group may charge an entrance fee to visitors for admittance to public park property. Similarly, no parking fee may be charged. However, donations may be requested from event participants, and donations may be requested for special services, products or events offered by the organizer (i.e., food, family or individual games).

VIII.   MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

  • The placement of all temporary structures and activity locations related to the event must be approved by CRPR staff.
  • The sponsor shall advise the municipal Police Department (for the park site) of all event details at least three (3) weeks prior to the event.
  • If the event involves any food services, municipal Health Department requirements may apply, and a pre-event Health Dept. inspection may be required. The sponsors should call the municipal Health Department for information at least three (3) weeks prior to the event.
  • The sponsor should make provisions for adequate first aid care at the park during the event.
  • All provisions of the municipal park ordinances apply to Large Group Events.
  • Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in all municipal parks.
  • Pets are prohibited in all Borough parks (except they are permitted on-leash at Lederer Park & Walnut Springs Park) and must be kept on a leash in all Township parks (except inside the Tudek Dog Park).

By order of
Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority Board
2643 Gateway Drive #1, State College, PA 16801
(814) 231-3071 Fax 814.235.7832

The CRPR Authority is a publicly-funded, municipal agency serving 5 municipalities since 1966. The Authority also maintains 501c3 status.
© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
The Centre Region Parks & Recreation Authority
2643 Gateway Drive #1, State College, PA. USA 16801   (814)231-3071   Fax 814.235.7832