Special Use and Event Policy/Process

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management manages several properties that may be suitable for events and special uses. A Special Use Permit allows a parcel of land or facility to be used in a manner that deviates from normally accepted activities. It is required for activities that benefit an individual, group, or organization rather than the public at large and activities that require some degree of management by DEM staff to protect public resources and the public interest. Activities and events that require Special Use Permits include:

  • Stationary events at a single location for 10 or more participants, such as scout/school group picnics and fishing tournaments
  • Events involving 10 or more participants on hiking trails and wildfire access roads such as sporting events, equestrian gatherings, public spectator attractions, or clean-ups
  • Film, video, or photography shoots (small scale, large scale, non-commercial and student-based)
  • Scientific research, monitoring, or community science projects. (All research and specimen collection activities require a Scientific Collector's Permit Application)
  • Religious ceremonies, press conferences, or other first-amendment events
  • Drone use (approval is restricted to commercial use - no private use permitted)
  • Other activities not specifically listed may require permits if there is the potential for interference with visitor use, congestion of highly visited areas, or possible impacts on habitat, native species, and State-land resources.

Examples of Previous Events

School and Scout Events
School and Scout Events
Scientific Research Geese
Scientific Research
Fishing Tournaments
Fishing Tournaments
Guided Hikes
Guided Hikes
Group Tours
Group Tours
Shelter Reservations Arcadia Brown Milling
Shelter Reservations

Special Use Permit Process

Locations and Facilities

Before applying for a special use permit, please contact the Division that manages the location/facility you wish to reserve. They will clarify whether you need a Special Use Permit and whether the type of event is suitable for the location.

Properties Managed by the Divisions of Fish & Wildlife and Forestry

Email dem.dfw@dem.ri.gov

Properties Managed by the Divisions of Parks & Recreation

Go to the RI State Parks website for their special use process.

Properties Managed by the Division of Coastal Resources

(Port of Galilee, Pier 4-Jerusalem, Pier 5-Monahans, Pier 9-Newport)

Special Use Application

For questions, call (401) 782-4438 (M-F 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM)


Some Special Use and Large Group events may require a license approved by the Rhode Island State Properties Committee (RISPC). This process can take up to 90 days, so please plan accordingly. See statepropertiescommittee.ri.gov for more information.

Certificate of Insurance

Most Special Event Permits require a certificate of general liability insurance. Here are the basic insurance requirements:

  • A company or organization applying for a special-use permit, must have the name of the company listed as the “Insured” on the certificate. If the organization or business is applying on behalf of another, all entities should be listed in this situation or added as additionally insured if not listed on the policy. Proof of this endorsement must be presented with certificate.
  • All certificates must indicate that the State of Rhode Island, Department of Environmental Management to be listed as “ADDITIONALLY INSURED ON A PRIMARY AND NON-CONTRIBUTARY BASIS”. This endorsement must be indicated on the certificate of insurance (COI).
  • All certificates must indicate a “WAIVER OF SUBROGATION” and the endorsement must be indicated on the certificate of insurance (COI). Sample of Certificate of Liability Insurance (COI) Medium Risk
  • The name and address to use for the certificate holder is: State of Rhode Island & Department of Environmental Management 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908.
  • Minimum limits will be $1,000,000.00 for any one (1) person in one (1) occurrence and $2,000,000.00 in aggregate for all persons in any one (1) occurrence


To submit your special use permit application, you'll need to set up an online account using the link below. You'll be able to use this account to track your reservations and make payments.

Before applying for a special use permit, please contact the Division that manages the location/facility you wish to reserve.

Host an event with RI State Parks

Eisenhower House

Eisenhower house

Located in Fort Adams State Park, this beautiful property commands breathtaking views of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. The Eisenhower House is a beautiful historic home with an extensive lawn overlooking the water that can accommodate both large and smaller events.

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Host an event: RI State Parks

Rhode Island Parks logo

Find the perfect space for your next event in a Rhode Island state park, beach, bike path, or campground! From open air pavilions and picnic shelters to wedding venues and historic facilities, we can help you find a location just right for your gathering.

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