Parks Policies and Regulations


Learn about the general policies, rules, and regulations that apply to all Allegheny County Parks.


Online Reservations

  1. Park shelters and facilities are available to reserve on a first come, first serve basis.
  2. Facilities are available to reserve up to one year in advance of the event date (year-to-date).
  3. Facility reservations can be made online, in person, or via phone. 
  4. Payments are accepted in the form of cash or card. Payment is required at the time of booking, Allegheny County Parks facilities will not be placed on “hold”. Accepted cards include Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, and Diner's Club.


Applicants for permits for Allegheny County Parks shelters and facilities are required to adhere to the following regulations:

  1. Comply with all of the Allegheny County Parks rules and regulations, plus any and all amendments made to the user.
  2. Comply with any and all directives of the Allegheny County Police and Allegheny County Parks personnel.
  3. An alcohol permit is required if alcoholic beverages are to be served.
  4. The representative of the renting group acknowledges by signature to be at least 18 years old, or at least 21 years old if an alcohol permit is requested.
  5. Agree to be held responsible for whatever damage is done to the facility while in use.
  6. Tables must not be moved by park patrons.
  7. Charging admission for park areas and buildings is against Park Policies and Regulations (see Article 1: Section 9. Merchandising). Permit holders who wish to charge the public for admission to an event must submit a written letter to the Parks Department at least two weeks prior to the date listed on the permit. Approval of admission fee requests are subject to the Director of Parks’ discretion.
  8. Contact the Allegheny County Police at 412-473-3000 in case of emergencies, problems or difficulties.
  9. Those who wish to hold an event outside of a specific permit area must submit a written request and obtain approval by from the Director of the Parks. 

Rates and Fees

Special events, promotions, and rates are established in accordance with the Department of Parks Reimbursement Policy and Procedure, at the discretion of the Parks Director. 

A fifty-percent (50%) fee reduction for rental of park facilities is offered to non-profit organizations providing satisfactory 501(c) 3 tax-exempt documentation and/or IRS non-profit documentation. The request for discounted rate must be submitted in writing for approval by the Director of Parks.

The Director of the Parks Department may, at their discretion and upon furnishing reasonable advance notice to Allegheny County Council, establish temporary promotional discount rates from time to time, as appropriate.

Some items may be subject to sales tax, as indicated by an asterisk (*).

Closing and Refunds

Permit holders may request a refund for a shelter or facility through the Facility and Shelter Refund Request Form(PDF, 286KB). The permit holder is responsible for ensuring the form has been received within the correct time frame to receive a refund. All refunds are issued at the discretion of the Director of Parks. 

All Park and Recreational Facilities will close upon declaration of emergency, as announced by the County Executive or Director of Parks, for health, safety and welfare considerations. 

Article I - Prohibited Activities

Article I - Prohibited Activities

The below-listed activities are specifically prohibited in any area lying within a county park. Exceptions to these prohibitions will be recognized only upon possession and presentation of a written authorization signed by the Director of the Parks Department, by signs posted by authorized representatives of the Director, or by immediate direction of a county police officer.

Section 1. Motor Vehicles
  • Driving or parking on grass areas or trails
  • Cleaning, polishing, washing, greasing, lubricating, or repairing
  • Landing any aircraft
  • Operating any motorized conveyance including and not limited to snowmobiles, motor boats, all terrain vehicles, motorcycles, or motor scooters except that street licensed vehicles may be used in parking lots, or roads open to traffic
Section 2. Shrubs, Flowers, Trees, Grass, Turf, Soil, or Rock Formations
  • Picking, cutting, breaking, digging, defacing or injuring in any way
Section 3. Buildings, Structures, or Park Facilities
  • Damaging, defacing, or misusing in any way
Section 4. Waste Paper, Garbage, and Refuse
  • Scattering or depositing except in appropriate receptacles
  • Failing to clean up and place all picnic waste paper, garbage, and refuse in receptacles provided for that purpose
  • Depositing in park receptacles waste paper, garbage or refuse except for that generated in the park by normal or permitted park activities such as picnicking
Section 5. Animals, Birds and Fish
  • Except as specifically authorized by the Parks Department: molesting, trapping, hunting, capturing, killing or injuring any bird or mammal
  • Abandoning animals or birds within the county parks
Section 6. Lakes, Streams, and Fountains
  • Wading, swimming or diving
  • Discharging of any types of waste or toxic materials into, or otherwise contaminating, any lake, stream, or fountain
Section 7. Advertising
  • Posting or distributing any notice signs, advertisements, or handbills, including political signs or notices in areas other than buildings and groves where a permit has been issued
  • Posting regarding permitted park activities may be authorized by the Parks Department or by permit, and must be removed by sunset of each day
Section 8. Weapons and Explosives
  • Discharge of any firearm or weapon including and not limited to handguns, rifles, shotguns, crossbow, bow and arrow, air rifle or pistol, any device firing a projectile by compressed gas or spring, such as paintball devices or as otherwise specifically allowed by permit issued by the Parks Department
  • Brandishing of a firearm or weapon including but not limited to handguns, rifles, shotguns, crossbow, bow and arrow, air riffle or pistol, any devise firing a projectile by compressed gas or spring, such as paintball devices except as otherwise specifically allowed by permit issued by the Parks Department. Firearms may be transported through the Park if kept in a car trunk, enclosed in a case, or otherwise inaccessible to use. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit any person licensed under the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, 18. P.S. §6109 from possession of a firearm as defined in Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, 18 P.S. §6102.
Section 9. Merchandising
  • Offering, distributing, supplying, renting, or selling any literature, commodity, article, material, equipment, service or supply, except by those doing so pursuant to Article II, Sections 4 and 5 of these regulations
Section 10. Noise
  • Using electrical amplifying equipment
Section 11. Alcoholic Beverages
  • All alcoholic beverages in glass containers
  • Possession of an alcoholic beverage in an open container or consumption of alcoholic beverages in areas other than buildings or groves where a permit has been issued under the provisions of Article II, Section 10 of these regulations
Section 12. Bottled Beverages
  • All glass containers

Article II - Regulated Activities

Article II - Regulated Activities

The below-listed activities are permitted in any area lying within a county park but are subject to the regulations indicated herein and those conspicuously posted in the appropriate area.

Section 1. Recreational Activities
  • Picnicking, swimming, tennis, golf, skating, bicycling, skiing, sledding, baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, football, boating, fishing, horseback riding, horseshoe pitching, model powered aircraft flying, rollerblading, skate boarding and related and similar forms of recreation are permitted only in areas designed for such use and in no case shall such use be permitted in areas where park facilities or areas may be damaged
Section 2. Fires
  • Fires are permitted only in stoves, fireplaces, grills or similar designated areas and facilities and must be thoroughly extinguished before leaving the area
  • Matches, cigars, cigarettes, charcoal, and all flammable materials must be thoroughly extinguished before being disposed of
  • Smoking shall be prohibited in any area of the park as designated; smoking shall be prohibited in any designated playground area in accordance with Allegheny County Ordinance No. 25-00
Section 3. Animals
  • Domestic animals are permitted only when on a leash, except in designated off-leash dog areas
  • Horses are permitted only on designated horse trails and roads
Section 4. Sale of Food and Refreshments
  • Food and refreshments may be sold only by concessionaires approved by the Parks Department, and may only be sold pursuant to the provisions of their respective concession agreements
  • If food and refreshment concessionaires are unwilling to provide such service at special events, the holders of the appropriate permits may provide refreshments to the public subject to approval and conditions imposed by the Director of the Parks Department
Section 5. Charging for Admission for Permit Areas and Buildings
  • The holders of permits for special-use areas who are engaged in a non-profit making enterprise may charge the public for admission to an event. Such a charge is subject to the approval of the Parks' Director at least one week prior to the date of the permit
Section 6. Public Gatherings
  • Meetings, assemblies, parades, or related forms of public gatherings will be permitted upon possession and presentation of a written authorization signed by the Director of the Parks Department
Section 7. Use of Permit Facilities
  • Permits are required to reserve buildings, shelters, groves, athletic fields, and other facilities
Section 8. Fishing
  • Fishing at either North or Deer Lakes Park, as regulated by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission, is permitted only during the designated hours at the designated locations
Section 9. Park Hours
  • North and South Parks: sunrise to midnight
  • All other parks: 8:00 am until sundown
Section 10. Alcoholic Beverages
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages shall be limited to groves and buildings where a permit has been issued

Article III - Penalties

Article III - Penalties

Section 1.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be guilty of a summary offense, and upon conviction thereof shall pay a fine of not less than $100, or more than $300.

Section 2.

Should a holder of a permit issued by the Director of the Parks Department under the provisions of these regulations be convicted of violating any provision of this Ordinance, such conviction shall be cause for revocation of any current permits. The Director of the Parks Department may, at their discretion, also consider such convictions when evaluating applications for future permits.

Section 3.

Each violation hereunder shall constitute a separate offense, subject to the penalties provided in Sections 1 and 2 of this Article.

Article IV - Effective Date

Article IV - Effective Date

Section 1.

This Ordinance is effective as of March 27, 2006.

Section 2.

If any provision of this Ordinance shall be determined to be unlawful, invalid, void or unenforceable, then that provision shall be considered severable from the remaining provisions of this Ordinance which shall be in full force and effects.

Section 3.

Any Resolution or Ordinance or part thereof conflicting with the provisions of this Ordinance is hereby repealed so far as the same affects this Ordinance.