Permits & Reservations

Special Park Use and Special Use Permits


A special park use is a short-term activity that takes place in a unit of the National Park Service and provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large. The National Park Service may permit a special park use providing the activity will not be detrimental to the the park's resources or values, visitor experiences, or the pupose(s) for which the park was established. Permit consideration will be evaluated for potential resouce damage and anticipated disruption of normal public use.

Andrew Johnson National Historic Site (NHS) may issue permits for various activities including the following:

  • Public Assembly (1st Amendment activities)
  • Wedding Ceremonies

  • Filming

  • Still Photography

  • Other special events

If applicants are not familiar with Andrew Johnson NHS, a preliminary visit is advisable. The location where the special park use is desired needs to be determined before a Special Use Permit is issued. There are restrictions in certain areas of the park, which could limit planned access and/or activities, so it is best to speak with park staff beforehand.

Do I need a permit to film?

Under current guidance, the National Park Service is not distinguishing between types of filming, such as commercial, non-commercial, or news gathering. Low-impact filming activities will not require a special use permit, but non-low-impact filming activities may require a permit to address their potential impacts on park resources and visitor activities.

  • Low-Impact Filming
    'Low-impact filming’ is defined as outdoor filming activities in areas open to the public, except areas managed as wilderness, involving five people or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras. Those participating in low-impact filming activities do not need a permit and are not required to contact the park in advance. If low-impact filmers have questions about areas where they want to film, they should contact the park directly.

Videographers, filmers, producers, directors, news and other staff associated with filming are reminded that rules and regulations that apply to all park visitors, including park hours and closed areas, still apply to filming activities even if a permit is not required. Check with park staff for more information on closures, sensitive resources, and other safety tips.

  • Non-Low-Impact Filming
    Filming activities that do not meet the description of low-impact filming require at least ten days advance notice to the National Park Service by contacting the park directly in writing. The park’s superintendent will determine whether the filming activities will require a special use permit for filming. Based on the information provided, a permit may be required to:

    • maintain public health and safety;

    • protect environmental or scenic values;

    • protect natural or cultural resources;

    • allow for equitable allocation or use of facilities; or

    • avoid conflict among visitor use activities.

Examples of requests that may require a permit include, but are not limited to: entering a sensitive resource area, filming in areas that require tickets to enter, filming in the national cemetery, or filming in visitor centers, campgrounds, or other visitor areas. The decision to require a permit rests with the park superintendent based on potential impacts to park resources or the visitor experience.Contact the park directly if unsure whether or not a filming activity is considered low-impact or may require a permit.

  • Filming in Wilderness Areas

The National Park Service manages and protects more than 67 million acres of park lands and waters as wilderness areas. These areas have additional laws and policies to preserve their wilderness character for future generations. Filming activities in wilderness areas must follow all applicable laws and regulations that govern wilderness areas in the park, including prohibitions on structures, installations, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, motorized equipment, motorboats, or landing of aircrafts.Except for casual filming by visitors, special use permits for filming are required for all filming activities in wilderness areas, no matter the group size or equipment used.

Still Photography

Still photographers require a permit only when:

  • the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or
  • the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
  • a park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

SPECIAL USE PERMIT APPLICATIONS

APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL USE PERMITS

All requests for a special use of the park for a planned activity must include the appropriate, completed application for a Special Use Permit. Applications provide management with essential information regarding the requested activity (i. e. date, type of event, number of people, location within the park, what type of impacts to the resource may be anticipated, etc.).

APPLICATION FEES

APPLICATION FEE: A non-refundable application fee may be required depending upon the type of request. Application fees for all 1st Amendment activities may be waived at the discretion of the park superintendent. There are no fees for filming; however, depending on certain criteria identified above, a special use permit may still be required.

All Non-photography permit requests and/or requests not falling under a 1st Amendment Activity or filming exception will be required to pay either a $50.00 Application Fee (based on a planned activity involving 50 or less people) or a $100.00 Application Fee (based on a planned activity involving 51 or more people). Still photography permit requests will be required to pay a $50.00 Application Fee.

Andrew Johnson NHS commemorates our 17th president, his life and times. The park closely reviews requests for activities that fall outside of the park’s primary mission. We recommend being as detailed as possible when completing the application. Feel free to add a supplemental information page(s) to the application if you need additional space to provide the requested information.If you are inquiring about the following:

  • Public Assembly (1st Amendment activities),

  • Wedding Ceremonies, or

  • Filming

Please complete Special Use Permit Application 10-930.If you are inquiring about a still photography special use permit then, complete FORM 10-932.

Permit Application Types

Andrew Johnson NHS Application for Special Use Permit 10-930
Andrew Johnson NHS Application for Special Use Permit 10-932

ALL COMPLETED APPLICATIONS

Completed applications for all activities must be mailed to the park’s Special Use Permit Coordinator at the following address:

Andrew Johnson NHS
ATTN: Special Use Coordinator
121 Monument Avenue
Greeneville, TN 37743

*Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable cashier’s check or money order made out to "NPS – Andrew Johnson NHS” for either $50.00 or $100.00 (see above APPLICATION FEES paragraph for guidance).

Credit cards are not accepted. (see Permit Fees and Proof of Insurance below). Allow up to 4 weeks for park management review of each application.

PERMITTED ACTIVITIES

1st AMENDMENT ACTIVITIES

If an applicant wishes to access the park for purposes of reaching out to park visitors and/or making use of park resources for non-commercial Education/Outreach purposes, these activities may fall under 1st Amendment activities and may not require permit fees. For more information regarding 1st Amendment activities, please contact the Special Park Use Coordinator at (423) 639-3711.

 
Map showing Andrew Johnson NHS 1st Amendment areas
 
A wedding by the Homestead arbor
A wedding takes place in the Homestead yard

NPS Image

WEDDING CEREMONY APPLICATIONS

Wedding ceremonies are permitted in the back yard of the Andrew Johnson NHS Homestead, located at 203 South Main Street, Greeneville, TN, 37743. Wedding ceremonies are restricted to the following:

  • Weddings can only be reserved through a Special Use Permit, subject to approval by park management.
  • Decorations are limited to only the arbor of the backyard garden.
  • Only live flowers may be used as decorations. Use of balloons, banners, live animals is not permitted.
  • NO RICE or CONFETTI – participants may throw birdseed.
  • Use of the historic Homestead for the wedding ceremony is prohibited.
  • The use of any audio device (tape recorders, amplifiers, etc.) is prohibited.
  • Wedding planners responsible for all chairs and tables. All chairs and tables must be removed following the event.
  • Chairs and tables limited to the interior of the backyard garden only.
  • Wedding party and guests must be limited to no more than 125 people.
  • All weddings shall be monitored by National Park personnel.

The permitee shall pay park recovery costs associated with this monitoring.Submit a completed application to the Special Park Use Coordinator. Allow a minimum of 4 weeks for evaluation by the park management. All efforts will be made to expedite the permitting process.

Application and Cost Recovery Fees may apply. Depending on the size and complexity of the desired ceremony, wedding planners may be required to provide proof of liability insurance for the event.

Last updated: November 18, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
121 Monument Ave.

Greeneville , TN 37743

Phone:

423 638-3551

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