Milwaukee County Parks
 

Apply for a Permit

Apply for a Permit or Purchase a Pass

So that everyone enjoys Milwaukee County Parks more safely, some activities do require permits. 

  • Photography
  • Vendors
  • Geocaching
  • Dog Parks
  • Boating
  • Disc Golf
  • Right of Entry

Photography

Formal Photography Permit

Personal photography and videography are permitted in every Milwaukee County Park. Boerner Botanical Gardens, Mitchell Park Domes and Wehr Nature Center have different fees from other parks. A photography permit is required for all wedding, engagement, family and school pictures or any other posed photography session that uses a park location as a backdrop and/or requires special attire.

 

Location

1-Hour Permit
(subject to tax)

Each Additional Half Hour
(subject to tax)

Permit Application

Boerner Botanical Gardens Formal, Family, School Photography 
(414) 525-5601

$35*

N/A

Boerner Photo Permit Request

Boerner Botanical Gardens Wedding Photography Package
(includes admission for up to 20)
(414) 525-5601

$160

$80

Boerner Photo Permit Request
Mitchell Park Domes Formal Photography
TEMPORARILY DISCONTINUED
(414) 257-5600
$70* $35 Domes Photo Permit Application
Temporarily Discontinued
Wehr Nature Center Formal, Family, School Photography
(414) 425-8550
 
$35** N/A

Call for Details

Wehr Nature Center Wedding Photography
(414) 425-8550
 
$70** $35 Call for Details
General Milwaukee County Parks
SpecialEvents@milwaukeecountywi.gov
$70 $35 Parks Permit Request

*plus per person admission fees
**plus per vehicle parking fees

Commercial Photography & Filming

A WI tax exemption form, permit and certificate of insurance are required for all commercial and advertising photography.

Location

3-Hour Permit
(subject to tax)

8-Hour Permit
(subject to tax)

Each Additional Hour
(subject to tax)

Permit Application

Boerner Botanical Gardens
(414) 525-5601

$325*

$800*

$140

BBG Photo Permit Request

Lakefront Parks: Bradford Beach, Lincoln Memorial Drive, McKinley Park, Veterans Park
SpecialEvents@milwaukeecountywi.gov

$325

$800

$140

Parks Permit Request

Mitchell Park Domes
TEMPORARILY DISCONTINUED
(414) 257-5600

$395*

$800*

$140

Domes Photo Permit Application
Temporarily Discontinued

 

Wehr Nature Center
(414) 425-8550

$210**

$520**

$115

Call for Details

Wilson Ice Arena
SpecialEvents@milwaukeecountywi.gov

$325*

$800*

$140

Parks Permit Request

All other locations
SpecialEvents@milwaukeecountywi.gov

$210

$520

$115

Parks Permit Request

*plus per person admission fees
**plus per vehicle parking fees

Vendor Permits

A Vendor Permit Application is required if you are interested in operating a food and beverage, retail, recreational or other service-oriented concession, to collect donations, or to host a raffle or silent auction on Milwaukee County Parks property.

Fees

In addition to the base fee for a Milwaukee County Parks Vendor Permit, the vendor is responsible for fees for

  • Services provided by Milwaukee County Parks (such as utilities, trash removal, etc.) 
  • Additional expenses (such as cleanup, repairs, landscaping and restoration, signage etc.)
  • Additional permits required by Milwaukee County
  • Municipal permit, license or inspection fees

 

Note: Separate Fee structures are used at Boerner Botanical Gardens, Mitchell Park Domes and Wehr Nature Center

LOCATION

BASE FEE*

Downtown & Lakefront Parks: Bradford Beach, Cathedral Square, Juneau, Lake, Pere Marquette, McKinley, Red Arrow, Veterans, Zeidler Union Square

$500

All other park and parkway locations

$250

*NOTE:
Fees do not include sales tax
Other permit fees may apply

 

How to Apply

  • Submit your application at least 90 days prior to your requested event date.
  • Note that submission of an application is separate from the decision to award a permit. 
  • IF your application is approved, fulfill any additional requirements and make full payment at least 30 days prior to your event.

Please note that group-size restrictions will likely impact the Special Events World even after Safer-at-Home Orders are lifted.

Initial Review

Within three business days of your submission, we will notify you of the results of the initial review, which checks availability of your requested location and date/time. If there is no conflict, your application will continue through the review process. If there is a conflict, we will suggest available dates/times or nearby locations. 

Special Events Office Contact: SpecialEvents@milwaukeecountywi.gov

 

permit

Parks Permit Request


 

FAQs

Open AllClose All
  I have a license/permit issued by the City of Milwaukee. Will I still need a Milwaukee County Parks Vendor Permit?

Yes, Milwaukee County Parks issues vendor permits for its property. If you sell food, commodities or services on any Milwaukee County Parks property without a vendor permit, you may be subject to a fine and confiscation of your products and/or equipment. Additional licenses from local municipalities may also be required by the Milwaukee County Parks.
 

  What type of insurance is required? Certificate of Insurance (COI):

Many applicants are required to submit a “Certificate of Insurance” in the amount of $1,000,000 of general liability coverage naming Milwaukee County Parks as an additional insured. Milwaukee County Parks must be listed as the Certificate Holder with the address listed as 9480 Watertown Plank Road, Wauwatosa, WI 53326. 
 

  Can I operate my business during a Special Event in the Park where I am permitted?

Not without prior approval; Seasonal Vendors cannot sell during Special Events in the Park unless approved by Milwaukee County Parks and the event organizer. This includes July 3rd and July 4th events in all Milwaukee County Parks.

 

Geocaching

Geocaching is a popular outdoor "scavenger hunt" that uses a global positioning system (GPS) device and internet-published coordinates to locate a virtual or physical cache. A virtual cache may be an amazing view; a physical cache may be a trinket or log book in a plastic container hidden under some leaves. Geocaching is an acceptable activity in the Parks when all the guidelines are followed.

To place a physical or virtual cache, you must have prior written permission from the Milwaukee County Parks Natural Areas Coordinator. For each cache location, complete a separate Geocache Permit Application and provide a map (a Google Earth or similar map).

 

Complete Geocache Permit Application 

Dog Park Passes & Fees

Buy a pass to enjoy unlimited visits to all seven Milwaukee County dog parks! 

  • Bay View (NOTE: closed through July 1, 2021, to establish a healthier stand of turf.)
  • Currie
  • Estabrook
  • Granville
  • Warnimont
  • Roverwest
  • Runway

Get Details on the Dog Parks & Passes!


Before you buy a pass, your dog must be licensed by your municipality and up to date on vaccinations.

Purchase a Dog Park Pass NOW! 

Boating / Launch Permits

Daily and seasonal launch permits are good for use at ANY of the Milwaukee County Parks launch sites, during the Official Boating Season, May through October.

  • McKinley Marina
  • Bender Park
  • Riverfront Launch
  • South Shore Park (NOTE: South Shore Launch Pier Availability for 2021 to be Determined)

Single day passes can be purchased at on-site pay stations at each boat launch. If you do not have a launch pass, you will be ticketed.

 

Get Details on Launch Permits!

Buy Your Launch Permit NOW!

Disc Golf

Buy a single-use pass or an annual (calendar year) Disc Golf Pass to get unlimited play on all Milwaukee County Disc Golf Courses.

Full Disc Golf Courses

  • Brown Deer
  • Dineen
  • Dretzka
  • Estabrook
  • Root River

Free Short/Practice Disc Golf Courses

  • Milwaukee County Sports Complex
  • Doctors Park
  • Kops Park
  • Wil-o-Way Grant
  • Wil-o-Way Underwood

Get Details on Disc Golf Courses & Passes!

 

Players under 16 are not required to purchase a pass.

Purchase a Disc Golf Pass NOW! 

Right-of-Entry Permit

Apply for a right-of-entry permit for utility work or other construction-related impacts to parkland. The Parks Department requires that any outside party seeking to access and/or impact park property for a project must first obtain permission in the form of a Right-of-Entry Permit signed by the Parks Director or his/her designee.

Before a right-of-entry request is reviewed, all applicants must explain the alternatives that were considered, and why access across parkland has been determined to be unavoidable. If there is an alternative that does not impact parkland, please select that option. Permittees are required to decontaminate their equipment before arriving and/or leaving a project area to prevent the spread of invasive species.

A Certificate of Insurance with Milwaukee County listed as an additional insured must be furnished with this application. Note that Right-of-Entry Permits may include a fee of up to $10,000, depending on the impact and duration of the proposal. Permits are granted at the discretion of the Parks Director, and submitting an application does not imply an approval will be granted.

Apply for a Right-of-Entry Permit

Moratorium Policy on Vegetation Management During the Bird Nesting Season

NOTE: The nesting season is not the same for all species, and not all sites will have nesting birds present during the entire nesting season.

Get Details on the Moratorium Policy

MILWAUKEE COUNTY PARKS

9480 W. Watertown Plank Road
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
(414) 257-PARK (7275)


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