Superintendent's Compendium


National Mall and Memorial Parks Superintendent's Compendium
September 30, 2023

Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, Chapter 1

Designations, closures, permit requirements and other restrictions imposed under the discretionary authority of the Superintendent.
This Compendium for National Mall and Memorial Parks lists the various restrictions, conditions, public use limitations, closures and other designations that are allowed under the discretionary authority of the Superintendent. The Superintendent’s discretionary authority is based on certain National Park Service (NPS) general regulations in the U.S. Code – 36 CFR – Parks, Forest and Public Property. 36 CFR Parts 1-6 as well as the Park’s special regulation at 36 CFR 7.96, apply to the National Capital Region. This Compendium is separate and apart from the NPS general regulations at 36 CFR Parts 1-6, the NPS Management Policies, and the National Mall and Memorial Parks special regulation at 36 CFR 7.96, which may be found on the NPS’s website at: and at the Government Printing Office’s website at

A signed version is available from the Superintendent's Office.



The following terms shall apply to this Compendium, unless modified by the definitions for a specific part or regulation:

● National Mall and Memorial Parks (NAMA) is an administrative unit of the National Park Service (NPS) that manages approximately 1,000 acres of federal park land in the District of Columbia including the National Mall, Washington Monument grounds, East and West Potomac Parks, as well as circles, squares, and other park areas generally spanning from the Potomac River and Rock Creek Park on the west, Florida Avenue on the north, and 2nd Street Northeast on the east. NAMA is steward to 16 formal units of the National Park System including.
1. Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument
2. Constitution Gardens
3. Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial
4. Ford's Theatre National Historic Site
5. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
6. Korean War Veterans Memorial
7. Lincoln Memorial
8. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
9. National Capital Parks - Central (renamed as NAMA, includes uptown parks)
10. National Mall
11. Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site
12. Thomas Jefferson Memorial
13. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
14. Washington Monument
15. World War I Memorial
16. World War II Memorial

Additional memorial and park sites managed by NAMA include.

1. American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
2. African American Civil War Memorial
3. District of Columbia (D.C.) War Memorial
4. George Mason Memorial
5. German American Friendship Garden
6. Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II Memorial
7. National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
8. U.S. Navy Memorial
9. Titanic Memorial

● Commemorative Works. As defined by the Commemorative Works Act (40 US Code Chapter 89), the term "commemorative work" means any statue, monument, sculpture, memorial, plaque, inscription, or other structure or landscape feature, including a garden or memorial grove, designed to perpetuate in a permanent manner the memory of an individual, group, event or other significant element of American history, except that the term does not include any such item which is located within the interior of a structure or a structure which is primarily used for other purposes.
● CFR Restricted Areas are defined in 36 Code of Federal Regulations 7.96.
● Pedicab is defined as a bicycle with two rear wheels and one front wheel designed to be ridden by one person and to transport passengers on attached rear seats.
● Scooter means a two-, three- or four-wheeled motor vehicle that a person stands upon to ride.
● Bikeshare or dockless bicycle programs are rental bicycles available for short-term use. Programs may involve acquiring bicycles at fixed docking locations or using a mobile application with GPS coordinates identifying the location of the bicycles.
● E-Bikes are bicycles with an electric motor that provide pedal or propulsion assistance for inclines and added efficiency.
● Memorials and Monuments. Memorials and monuments are defined as “commemorative works” under the Commemorative Works Act (40 US Code Chapter 89). See definition for “commemorative works.”
● Motorized Personal Mobility Devices such as Segways® and motorized wheelchairs are defined as wheeled vehicles that are self-propelled. They are considered motor vehicles under the CFR.
● Unmanned Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, and drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.
● Smoking is defined as the lighting of a smoking apparatus including, but not limited to, cigars, cigarettes, pipes, or electronic nicotine delivery systems.


The specific discretionary authority for Park Superintendents to establish reasonable schedules for visiting hours, impose public use limits, and close park areas for all public use or specific use is found at 36 CFR 1.5. These park-specific restrictions are also based upon 36 CFR, Chapters 1-7 to protect park resources, visitors, and employees, as well as the National Park Service (NPS) Management Policies. Under CFR 1.7, notice of all restrictions, closures, designations, and permit requirements will be made available to the general public by at least one or more of the following methods of notification: maps, brochures, signs, permits, websites, or other appropriate methods, as well as within this compendium. Finally, any Records of Determination are available upon request under 36 CFR 1.5(c).

Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5 the following sections note closures, public use limits or restrictions applicable within National Mall and Memorial Parks. Other closures may occur.

A) Schedule of Visiting Hours.

Outdoor Sites. All memorials and outdoor sites managed by National Mall and Memorial Parks are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week unless otherwise noted. Rangers circulate throughout the sites listed below from 9:30 am to 10:00 pm daily to answer questions and provide interpretive programs with the exception of December 25. The United States Park Police (USPP) monitors sites from 10:00 pm to 9:30 am. The sites include.
• Lincoln Memorial
• Thomas Jefferson Memorial
• Vietnam Veterans Memorial
• Korean War Veterans Memorial
• Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
• World War II Memorial
• Constitution Gardens

Indoor and Facility Sites. NAMA manages indoor and public facility sites that are generally open to public entry at the specified times below. Dates and times listed are approximate and are dependent on weather, staffing, and funding levels, as well as unforeseen circumstances. Current hours of operation or other specific site information may be obtained by contacting the sites listed below, visiting the National Mall and Memorial Parks website (, calling (202) 426-6841 (except where otherwise specified), or by writing to the Superintendent, National Mall and Memorial Parks, 1100 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20242-2000.

1) Washington Monument: Open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., except July 4 and December 25. The Washington Monument is closed one day at the beginning of each month for routine maintenance. Tickets are required for entry and are limited based on the safety capacity of visitors inside the monument. Tickets are available at the Washington Monument Lodge starting at 8:30 a.m. and online at Phone: (202) 347-5114.
2) Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site: Open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., except Thanksgiving and December 25. The site is operated in partnership with Ford’s Theatre Society and access may be limited during performances. Phone: (202) 426-6924.
3) Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument: Open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., except Thanksgiving and December 25. Phone: (202) 543-2240.
4) Lockkeeper’s House: Generally open Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. as staffing and funding allow.
5) U.S Park Police Horse Stables Education Center: Generally open to the public Thursday - Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. as staffing and funding allow.
6) National Mall and Memorial Parks Headquarters: 1100 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20242. This facility is not open to the public. Visitation by appointment only is available Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed on federal holidays. Phone: (202) 245-4660.

B) Public Use Closures.

1) Washington Monument interior staircase is closed to the public due to visitor safety concerns, lack of accessibility, security issues, and past resource damage to the commemorative stones. On limited occasions, the Superintendent will authorize stair walkdowns that support the operations and mission of the NPS.

2) Access to the roofs and interior understructures of any memorial is prohibited due to visitor safety concerns, protection of the historic resources, and security issues. On limited occasions, the Superintendent will authorize access to memorial roofs and understructures for specific activities that support the operations and mission of the NPS.

3) East Potomac Park including Hains Point, along Ohio Drive SW from the eastern entry gate to the western exit gate at the intersection of Ohio and Buckeye Drives SW, may close to vehicle traffic during times of high tides, flooding, snow emergencies, for permitted special events, or as needed to address and/or mitigate temporary public safety issues as determined by USPP. These temporary closures may include visitors on foot, bicycle, and other non-motorized vehicles as determined by NPS or USPP staff. East Potomac Park is closed between the entry and exit gates from 1:00 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. daily to all vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic.

4) Washington Monument and other memorials may close for high winds, weather conditions, mechanical failure, or other emergency situations.

5) Other areas of the park may be closed for special use permits, resource management and protection, public safety concerns, maintenance or roadwork, and other nonemergency reasons. In those cases, fences or signage may be used to indicate the closure, and a notification or Record of Determination will be posted either through the National Mall and Memorial Parks website or in the Park’s permit office.

C) Public Use Limitations.

The following public use limitations are in place.

1) Restricted Areas. Per regulation (36 CFR 7.96(g)(3)(ii)), demonstrations and special events are not allowed in the following park areas:
a. The Washington Monument including the area enclosed within the inner circle that surrounds the Monument's base, except for the official annual commemorative Washington birthday ceremony.
b. The Lincoln Memorial, which means that portion of the park area which is on the same level or above the base of the large marble columns surrounding the structure, and the single series of marble stairs immediately adjacent to and below that level, except for the official annual commemorative Lincoln birthday ceremony.
c. The Jefferson Memorial, which means the circular portion of the Jefferson Memorial enclosed by the outermost series of columns, and all portions on the same levels or above the base of these columns, except for the official annual commemorative Jefferson birthday ceremony.
d. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, except for official annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day commemorative ceremonies.

In addition to memorial restricted areas delineated in 36 CFR 7.96, the following areas are also restricted from public gathering permit activities under policy:
a. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial with the exception of the Prologue Room;
b. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Stone of Hope area and Plaza;
c. Korean War Veterans Memorial plaza area;
d. World War I Memorial central platform surrounded by the pool feature;
e. World War II Memorial including the Field of Gold Stars and the Circle of Remembrance; and the
f. Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Plaza area.
g. The U.S. Park Police Horse Stables Education Center and the Lockkeepers House are restricted from public gathering permits for events; however, the NPS may sponsor no more than 3-4 events per year at each location in partnership with the park’s official non-profit partner, the Trust for the National Mall to educate the public about the partnership and to support stewardship of the sites.

Maps of memorial restricted areas are available at the park website here:

2) Public Use Limitations for Restricted Areas
In addition to the prohibition against demonstrations and special events, the following activities are not allowed within memorials as defined by the landscaped or constructed components of the commemorative work, or within restricted areas:
a. Eating or drinking (except water) are prohibited within the memorials and restricted areas.
b. Conducting a wreath or flower laying ceremony without a NPS permit is prohibited within memorials and restricted areas. Individuals may leave wreaths or flowers without a permit when not part of a ceremony. Wreaths left at memorials will remain in place no longer than one week and will be removed earlier if greenery and flowers are wilted or if severe weather or other safety conditions arise.
c. Sound amplification within memorial restricted areas is prohibited unless approved by the Superintendent through the Division of Permits Management. Sound equipment outside of the memorials may not unreasonably disturb nonparticipating persons in, or in the vicinity of, the area per 36 C.F.R. 7.96(g)(5)(xi).
d. Honor guard or cordons must follow the same rules as the public unless their activities are included as part of a permitted event, in which case they must adhere to permit conditions and requirements.
e. Carrying or display of ceremonial weapons within memorials and restricted areas is prohibited with the exception of the Military District of Washington, D.C.
f. Jogging, dancing, singing, climbing, or exercise-type activities are prohibited in memorials and restricted areas.
g. Filming and photography involving a tripod or other supporting structures are prohibited from within memorial restricted areas. Hand-held filming and photography is allowed in these areas.

3) Temporary Structure Height. The height of temporary structures within the park is restricted to no more than 45 feet to remain beneath the tree canopy, protect the viewshed of the National Mall, and to support the safety and security of park areas. The 45-foot height restriction does not apply to temporary construction equipment such as cranes for construction projects or to temporary communications structures necessary to support security and safety at mass public gatherings in the park.

4) Water Features. No items including floating lanterns, model boats, and lighting may be placed into any park water feature, with the exception of permitted events at Constitution Gardens Lake. No items may be placed in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool or in the Tidal Basin.

5) Filming and Photography
This section details filming and photography restrictions, conditions, public use limitations, closures and other designations that are allowed under the discretionary authority of the Superintendent. Specific guidance related to filming and photography is also available under the following sections in Public Use Limitations: Restricted Areas; Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site; and Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument; and under the section on Public Notices and News Media.

a. The following filming and photography activities may take place within the park without a permit or advance notification to NPS.
i. Permits are not required for pictures or videos taken by the visiting public documenting their visit.
ii. Outdoor filming activities involving five (5) persons or fewer and equipment that will always be carried, except for small tripods used to hold cameras, may be conducted without a permit or advance notification to the NPS.
b. National Mall and Memorial Parks and other DC area National Park Service parks require a permit for all photography and filming that is not categorized as general visitor use. When in doubt if a permit is needed, contact the Division of Permits Management prior to going to the park to shoot photos or video. Further information can be found at
i. Filming and photography with a tripod or other supporting structures is prohibited in park restricted areas. Filming and photography may occur in restricted areas using hand-held equipment only that does not impede public access and enjoyment of the area.
ii. Filming or photography is prohibited in areas closed to the public.
iii. Filming or photography of any kind including the use of phone and portable electronic devices is prohibited in the Washington Monument security screening area.
iv. Violating a term or condition of a permit issued may result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.
c.The organizer of filming activities involving more than five (5) people and/or equipment that cannot be carried must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:
• maintain public health and safety;
• protect environmental or scenic values;
• protect natural or cultural resources;
• allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or
• avoid conflict among visitor use activities.
If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request. The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner.

Processing times for a written response will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10-day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit. The following are prohibited:
i. Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.
ii. Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.

6) Washington Monument public-use security limitations prohibit certain items which could reasonably threaten public safety and security. See Appendix A for a full listing of prohibited items. Additionally, suitcases, duffel bags, or backpacks larger than 18” x 16” x 8”, strollers, food (except for a small quantity of sealed food items), or beverages (except water, milk, or baby formula in clear plastic containers) are not permitted within the Washington Monument.

7) Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site
a) Areas closed to the public include the Presidential Box and roped-off areas of the Petersen House.
b) Commercial filming and photography are allowed within the interior of both Ford's Theatre and the Petersen House, excluding the Presidential Box, provided a permit is obtained and the filming takes place outside of normal visiting hours, rehearsals, and performances.

8) Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument
a) Private-tented events and other permitted events at Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument must be scheduled outside of public visitation hours and have a direct connection to the site mission and interpretive themes identified in the site Foundation Document: Community of women, Action through legislation, Non-violent civil disobedience, The role of the National Woman’s Party, Women’s movement history, Minorities in the suffrage movement, and the International influence of the National Woman’s Party.
b) Commercial filming and photography are allowed on the house and grounds provided a permit is obtained and the filming takes place outside of normal visiting hours.

8) Mall Turf Panels. Pursuant to Secretarial Order No. 3326 dated January 24, 2013, and in accordance with the NPS Turf Management and Event Operations Guide for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, public use limitations and partial/temporary closure procedures exist to protect the Mall Turf Panels. Special events and demonstrations may take place on turf areas provided that these activities follow permit conditions in the NPS Turf Management and Event Operations Guide for the National Mall and Memorial Parks:

9) Mall Tree Panels. Set up within any tree panel of the Mall is prohibited except as approved by the Superintendent for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which has regulatory preference as a national celebration event under 36 CFR 7.96.

10) Park offices, parking lots and office complexes. Federal buildings managed by National Mall and Memorial Parks are not public facilities. Meetings at these federal buildings are by appointment only. Public-use security limitations prohibit certain items which could reasonably threaten public safety and security from entering the listed Federal buildings. See Appendix A for a full listing of prohibited items. Federal buildings include
• Building complex located at 1100 Ohio Dr. SW, Washington, DC 20242 to include the property north of Ohio Dr. SW and west of Buckeye Dr. SW and adjacent parking lots to include the National Mall and Memorial Park Headquarters, East Potomac Maintenance Yard, Buckeye Building, National Capital Regional Office, United States Park Police Headquarters, and the United States Park Police Central District Office. These offices are closed to the public during non-business hours or when un-staffed.
• Survey Lodge Ranger Station at 1601 Independence Ave SW are park offices and are not open to the public.

11) Noise Limitations. Per code of the District of Columbia (§ 22–1321. Disorderly conduct) it is unlawful for a person to make an unreasonably loud noise between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. that is likely to annoy or disturb one or more other persons in their residences.

D) Transportation or Vehicles in National Mall and Memorial Parks.

1) Visitors with Disabilities. Pursuant to the Record of Determination dated March 22, 2010, any park visitor with a disability is permitted to use a motorized personal mobility device throughout the park, including all structures, facilities, park roads, sidewalks, trails and other surfaces when such devices are used for the sole purpose of mobility assistance and shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian.

2) Motorized Personal Mobility Devices. Unless operated by a person with a disability, motorized personal mobility devices such as Segways® may only operate on designated sidewalk routes or multi-use trails. Motorized personal mobility devices may be used in the following locations:
a) On the National Mall and Memorial Parks adjacent to 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 14th Streets NW and between Constitution and Independence Avenues NW
b) Along Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd to 15th Streets NW, including Freedom Plaza
c) Along Ohio Drive SW between East Basin Drive and the entrance of East Potomac Golf Course
d) National Mall route (see park website map below)
e) West Potomac Park loop (see park website map below)

These designated park sidewalk routes are more fully described in the National Mall and Memorial Parks Record of Determination for Segways® or other motorized personal mobility devices available on the park website:

Users of motorized personal mobility devices must also adhere to the following operating standards, most of which are also required under District of Columbia regulations on safe use of electric personal assistive mobility device:
● No person under 16 years of age may operate a motorized personal mobility device.
● A person shall operate any motorized personal mobility device in a safe and non-hazardous manner so not to endanger oneself or any other person. The maximum speed of the motorized personal mobility device will not exceed more than 8 M.P.H.
● Motorized Personal Mobility Devices should be parked alongside the bicycle racks throughout the park.
● Motorized Personal Mobility Devices may not be used in memorials. These devices should be left outside or walked through memorials and along Tidal Basin walks.
● Motorized Personal Mobility Devices are not allowed on the steps, colonnades, or within the chambers of District of Columbia War Memorial, Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson memorials, nor allowed inside the Washington Monument.

3) Pedicabs. Pursuant to a Record of Determination dated June 29, 2012, pedicabs are allowed on park roads available to public vehicle traffic within the boundaries of National Mall and Memorial Parks. Pedicabs are prohibited on multi-use trails and sidewalks. Use of pedicabs is prohibited except on park roads. Pedicabs are allowed to stage/wait for passengers only in those locations designated with a sign as a Pedicab Stand. Pedicab operators are required to always have a valid NPS issued Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) Identification card visible while operating in the park. Pedicabs with a motor of any kind (including "electric start” or “assist motors") are not allowed to operate in the park. Pedicab CUA requirements follow the DC code for Pedicabs at 18 DCMR 1213, which states “Pedicabs shall be operated in accordance with the safe operation of bicycle regulations set forth in § 1201”.

4) Bicycles
a) 36 CFR 4.30 prohibits the use of bicycles except on park roads, in parking areas, and on routes designated for bicycle use. Bicycles are allowed on sidewalks outside of the memorials; however, bicycle users must walk their bicycles through the memorials and along Tidal Basin walks. Bicycles are not allowed on the steps, colonnades, or within the chambers of District of Columbia War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, or the Washington Monument.
b) Commercial or guided bicycle groups are not permitted in 36 CFR 7.96 restricted areas or areas restricted by policy (see Restricted Areas).
c) Bicycles should be parked in the bicycle racks at each memorial. A map of bike racks in the park is available on the park website:
d) E-bikes--Under the authority of 54 U.S.C. Section 100751(a) and Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations §1.5(a)(2) the Superintendent is designating the following areas for a specific use or activity.
i. The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).
ii. E-bikes are allowed in the National Mall and Memorial Parks where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.
iii. A person operating an e-bike must comply with the directions of a traffic control device (36 CFR 4.12), must not stop or park on a park road or operate the e-bike so slowly on a road to interfere with traffic (36 CFR 4.13), must yield the right of way to pedestrians (36 CFR 4.20), must adhere to posted speed limits (36 CFR 4.21), must not operate in an unsafe manner (36 CFR 4.22), must not operate under the influence of alcohol or drugs (36 CFR 4.23), and must adhere to regulations on the operation of bicycles under 36 CFR 4.30.
iv. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor exclusively to move an electric bicycle for an extended period of time without pedaling is prohibited (per 36 CFR 4.30(i)(3)).
v. Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within the National Mall and Memorial Parks is governed by District of Columbia law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

5) No Vehicles on Turf. No unauthorized vehicles (including golf carts, carts, pedicabs, trucks, or bicycles) are allowed to drive or park on park turf. Driving on turf with approved protective material is limited to Zone III turf areas, as identified in the NPS Turf Management and Event Operations Guide for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, available here:

6) No Vehicle Maintenance or Repair. Maintenance, repair (except for emergencies), washing, and waxing of any vehicle are prohibited in all park areas.

7) Buses.
a) No buses are allowed to stop/stand/load or unload in the bus stops designated for DC Circulator and Big Bus Tours, the National Mall and Memorial Parks’ interpretive bus tour Concessioner.
b) Bus loading/unloading is restricted to drop-off and pick-up zones indicated by signage. No bus parking/standing is authorized at any of the memorials at any time.
c) Bus idling is prohibited in all areas except during loading and unloading of passengers. DC idling regulations apply (DC Municipal regulations rule 4478701-20-900 ONROAD ENGINE IDLING AND NONROAD DIESEL ENGINE IDLING) which allow 3 minutes of idling, except when temperatures are below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, 5 minutes are allowed.
d) Bus parking is authorized at signed, parking meter locations at the bus rate.
e) Lincoln Circle is only authorized for bus use by Circulator and the NPS authorized interpretive bus service, and other government vehicles.

8) Restricted Roads. Park roads with restricted public access include 23rd Street SW, south of Lincoln Memorial, Daniel French Drive, and Home Front Drive. Exceptions are made for government vehicles, tour buses and tour vehicles, taxicabs, and vehicles with handicap markers/decals or handicap visitors loading or unloading.

9) Snow and Emergency Roads. Constitution and Independence Avenues are designated as snow emergency and emergency evacuation routes. All vehicles parked or disabled on these roads during emergencies are subject to immediate towing without prior notification.

10) Parking Meters. The National Mall and Memorial Parks manages parking meters in the park through an agreement with the District of Columbia. The hours, rate and days for meter operation will be 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (except for rush hour restricted Constitution Avenue); $2.30 per hour, every day except December 25. Meters accept credit cards and the Parkmobile parking app as payment. Parking meter rates are consistent with those for meters throughout the District. More information is available on the park website:

11) Parking. Parking is prohibited in public parking areas within the park from 1:00 am to 5:00 am. The park parking map is available here:

E) Recreational Activities within National Mall and Memorial Parks.

1) Balloons. All balloons are prohibited in the park, unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Superintendent. As a condition of a park permit, large helium-filled balloons may be carried in a parade under a permit and cold-air filled balloon structures may be placed on parklands. Such permitted balloons must always remain tethered, and all reasonable efforts must be made to recover any lost balloons. Due to danger to wildlife, the use of all other balloons is prohibited unless authorized by the Superintendent.

2) Kites. Flying kites using glass-coated or other abrasive non-biodegradable kite string or line in the park is prohibited. The flying of kites must not negatively affect other visitors. All persons engaged in kite flying must make a reasonable effort to prevent resource damage, including collecting all kite materials.

3) Unmanned Aircraft.
a. Pursuant to 36 CFR 1.5 and a Record of Determination dated August 13, 2014, the launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of the National Mall and Memorial Parks is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.
b. Pursuant to 14 CFR 73.13, aircraft to include Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are prohibited within the restricted air space (P-56) surrounding the White House, the U.S. Capitol and the Memorial Core from the U. S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Permission to enter the P-56 airspace requires coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration for access to controlled airspace.
c. For security reasons and the safety of crowds, the National Mall and Memorial Parks has extended the prohibition of unmanned aircraft south of the P-56 airspace to include West Potomac Park, the Tidal Basin, and East Potomac Park, including Hains Point.

4) Parasailing, windboarding, and gliding are prohibited in the park.

5) Golfing. Hitting golf balls outside the boundaries of East Potomac Golf Course is prohibited.

6) Tents.
a. Private-tented events are limited to the West Potomac Park private reception area, Henry Bacon Ball Field, Constitution Gardens Plaza, and the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. West Potomac Park and Constitution Gardens should be used as the primary reception locations whenever possible.
b. Glass beverage containers may be used within the permitted area for private tented events.
c. During permitted events, personal tents, shelters, volleyball nets, or other structures anchored by stakes less than eight (8) inches in length are allowable in most park areas. Anchoring with stakes over eight (8) inches is allowed only by permit in certain locations identified in the NPS Turf Management and Event Operations Guide for the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

7) Glass Beverage Containers. Glass beverage containers are prohibited throughout the park except for use during private tented events.

8) Fishing is permitted in the Potomac River, Washington Channel, Tidal Basin, and Constitution Gardens Lake and requires a DC Fishing license.

9) Picnicking for groups under 25 people is allowed in most areas of the park but is not allowed in the 36 CFR 7.96 restricted areas of any memorial. Reserved picnicking at Hains Point must be booked online through

10) Model/Toy Boats. Flotation of wind-powered and radio-powered model boats and model sailboats are allowed on Constitution Gardens Lake without a permit but prohibited in all other artificial or natural waters of the park.

11) Camping. Under 36 CFR 7.96(i)(1), camping is prohibited in all areas of the park.

12) Pyrotechnics, Fireworks, Smoke, Fog, and Sparklers. All light and atmospheric displays such as pyrotechnics, fireworks, smoke, fog, and sparklers are prohibited except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit and in accordance with applicable laws of the District of Columbia.

13) Projected Lights and Lasers. Projected images and lights on memorials are prohibited to retain the integrity of the memorial lighting design, support the contemplative atmosphere and visitor experience at the memorials, and further the designed intent of commemorative works. Projected lights and lasers are prohibited in all other areas except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.

14) Firearms.
a) As of February 22, 2010, P.L. 111-24 makes possession of firearms in national parks subject to local and state firearms laws. It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit the District of Columbia’s website ( or the following link for District of Columbia’s Official Code (
● See Division I, Title 7, Subtitle J, Chapter 25
● See also Division IV, Title 22, Subtitle VI, Chapter 45
b) Federal law continues to prohibit firearms in all federal facilities within the park. Federal facilities are marked with signs at public entrances. Firearms are prohibited in interior spaces within the parks’ memorials; all park administrative and maintenance facilities buildings; U.S. Park Police headquarters; the National Capital Area headquarters; East Potomac Golf Course; food service kiosks and information kiosks; and associated bookstores.

15) Winter Recreational Activities.
a) Ice-skating is permitted on Constitution Gardens Lake when posted and is prohibited at all other times and in all other park areas.
b) Winter activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and other similar activities are not permitted in 36 CFR 7.96 restricted areas and restricted areas under policy (see Restricted Areas). Those activities are permitted on Hains Point sidewalk area and on grass or sidewalk sections of the National Mall when snow completely covers the surface and is deep enough so that no equipment comes in contact with grass or paved surfaces.

16) Recreational Equipment.
a) Cones, bases, goals, and other items left overnight will be impounded.
b) Trash generated by sports or games, as well as equipment (including bases, cones, goals) must be picked up and removed from the park by the recreational users.

17) Climbing, rappelling, BASE jumping, bungee jumping, and slacklining is prohibited. Installing, attaching, or using any fixed tensioned ropes and/or webbing (slacklines), and other devices to trees is prohibited, as this damages the trees.

18) Turf Use. Turf is managed and protected to ensure a quality turf is available for all to enjoy throughout the year and to ensure no use or activity requires remediation that would prohibit the ability of others to use the area. Pursuant to the NPS Turf Management and Event Operations Guide for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, released on July 5, 2017, public use limitations and partial/temporary closure procedures exist to protect all turf areas including the Mall Turf Panels.
a) 36 CFR 7.96 b (2) prohibits all sports on wet lawns or when otherwise unsuitable for play without damage to the turf. Persons holding a permit to engage in athletics at certain times and at places authorized for this use are prohibited from exercising the privilege of play accorded by the permit if the grounds are wet or otherwise unsuitable for play.
b) In accordance with the Record of Determination, dated November 18, 2016, no cleats are allowed on the National Mall, however the wearing of cleats for sporting activities will be allowed on the East and West Potomac Parks and John F. Kennedy (JFK) Hockey Fields.
c) Digging, staking, or otherwise damaging turf is prohibited.
d) No access to turf is allowed during frosts, saturated conditions, or conditions that would cause turf damage. In such conditions, a Record of Determination for a Short-Term Closure of a Portion of the National Mall will be put in place. Notice of the closure will occur through signage, fencing, red flags, posting on the Park’s website or in the Park Permit Office, or by ranger or officer on-site direction. Pursuant to 36 CFR. 1.5(c), this Record of Determination is available to the public upon request. Violation is also accord with 36 CFR 7.96(b)(2) Wet grounds.

F) Significant Dates of National Commemoration and Remembrance.

Significant dates of national commemoration and remembrance are designated as national celebration or commemoration events at the Park. The National Park Service will manage the permitting process for commemorative ceremonies occurring at the memorials on these dates identified in 36 CFR 7.96(g)(4)(ii):
● Cherry Blossom Festival
● Fourth of July Celebration
● Smithsonian Folklife Festival
● Columbus Day Commemorative Wreath Laying
● Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies

The NPS will assist and provide limited support for partner permitted commemorative ceremonies occurring at the memorials for these dates identified in the NAMA Superintendent’s Compendium:
● Korean War Veterans Memorial: Memorial Day (last Monday of May); Invasion Day (June 25); Korean War Armistice Day (July 27); Veterans Day (November 11).
● Lincoln Memorial: Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12).
● Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday (January 15); Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, (April 4);Thomas Jefferson Memorial: Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday (April 13).
● Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Memorial Day (last Monday in May); Veterans Day (November 11).
● Washington Monument: George Washington’s Birthday (February 22).
● World War II Memorial: Victory in Europe (VE) Day (May 8); Memorial Day (last Monday in May); Victory in Japan (VJ) Day (September 2); Veterans Day (November 11); Pearl Harbor Day (December 7).
● Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument: Alice Paul's Birthday (January 11); Alva Belmont's Birthday (January 17); Establishment of National Woman's Party (June 5); Women's Equality Day (ratification of 19th Amendment) (August 26).
• Eisenhower Memorial: ; Memorial Day (last Monday in May); Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Birthday (October 14); D-Day (June 6); Veterans Day (November 11)
• World War I Memorial: Memorial Day and Veterans Day

G) Temporary Artwork Installations.

The Superintendent may authorize temporary unattended artwork installations with a Special Use Permit (SUP) in specified areas of the park. With the exception of projects with substantial involvement and approval by the NPS to accomplish NPS mission and goals, the park will not permit temporary artwork installations within the Reserve area as defined by the Commemorative Works Act (CWA; 40 U.S.C. § 8902(a)(3)) and depicted on the map entitled "Commemorative Areas Washington, DC and Environs", numbered 869/86501 B, and dated June 24, 2003.

III. Permits

Note NPS special regulations in 36 CFR 7.96 for applications for demonstration and special event permits. Applications must be submitted from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays, to: National Mall and Memorial Parks, Office of Permits Management, 1100 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, D.C., 20242 (phone: 202-245-4715). Applicants must provide the following information on the required form:

● Name of applicant/organization and telephone number
● Date, time, and duration of proposed activity
● Nature of activity and proposed location
● Number of persons involved/expected
● Equipment and facilities desired
● Provisions made for clean-up and site restoration

Visit the park website “Event Planning Guide” for additional information on the permitting process, and requirements for structures and facilities associated with these events:

A) Activities that Require a Permit.

The following activities require a permit:

● All special events including but are not limited to, sports events, pageants, regattas, parades, and public spectators’ attractions.
● First Amendment Demonstrations to include public assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, marches, public expressions of views with more than 25 participants or structures of any kind including a speaker’s platform.
● Displaying advertisements during special events. This requires a Secretarial waiver. Otherwise, it is prohibited CFR (5.1); Public Law 108-108 Title I, Sec. 145.
● Commercial photography and filming CFR (5.5), CFR (7.96), and Director’s Order 53
● Weddings: Approved areas include District of Columbia War Memorial, west side of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the George Mason Memorial. Reception tents and other types of support structures are prohibited.
● Open fire in a personally provided container as part of a religious ceremony.

B) Additional Activities that Require a Permit.

The following activities require a permit:

● Scientific Research, Education, and Collecting Activities – See 36 CFR 1.6 (Permits), 36 CFR 2.1 (Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources), and 36 CFR 2.5 (Research Specimens)
● Memorialization – See Commemorative Works Act 40 USC Ch. 89; also CFR 36 CFR § 2.62
● Operating a Business – See 36 CFR § 5.3
● Operating a Commercial Vehicle – See 36 CFR § 5.6
● Construction of Buildings or Other Facilities – See 36 CFR § 5.7

C) Sporting Event Permits.

Permits are required from April 1 to September 30 for the use of all athletic fields located within the park. At all other times, these fields are opened on a first use basis. Fields may be closed as part of an annual rehabilitation and maintenance program. The following areas require a permit issued from the National Park Service, except as noted:
1) The three multi-use fields south of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool (the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Hockey Fields); the multi-use field on Hains Point; fields bounded by Independence Avenue, Ohio Drive and West Basin Drive; and the 900 Ohio Drive ball field.
2) For visitor safety, softball must be played on designated softball fields. No softball play is allowed on the Washington Monument grounds because no softball fields are present in this area.
3) The National Park Service does not issue permits for sport activities on the Washington Monument grounds nor the Mall between 3rd – 15th Streets.
4) The Henry Bacon Drive softball fields, the FDR softball fields, the softball fields at 23rd Street and Constitution Avenue and at 23rd Street and Independence Avenue, and the Raoul Wallenberg Place multiuse field can be reserved online at The volleyball courts northwest of the Lincoln Memorial on the east side of the park walkway (Parkway Drive Volleyball Courts) can be reserved online at Courts #1 through #6 can be reserved through this system, however Courts #7 through #11 are set aside as challenge courts. For volleyball tournaments, courts must be permitted through the National Mall and Memorial Parks Division of Permits Management. Courts #1 through #6 are available for tournament play, however Courts #7, #8, #9, #10, and #11 must remain open for unreserved play.

Specific information on all organized runs, races, and biking events can be found within the Record of Determination for the Continued Public Use Limitation Guidelines for Footraces, Organized Runs and Bicycle Events in National Mall and Memorial Parks dated September 22, 2016.

IV. Public Notices and News Media

A) Public Notices.

Copies of the Compendium and activity area maps are available online at and available upon request at National Mall and Memorial Parks, Office of Permits Management, 1100 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, D.C., 20242, (202) 245-4715.

B) News Media.

Direct news media questions to the park Office of Communications. Contact information for this Office is available at
1) News media covering news stories within National Mall and Memorial Parks may film using minimal equipment, i.e., camera, tripod and minimal crew, without a permit.
2) Filming that requires equipment other than a hand-held camera may not take place in restricted areas. Equipment includes tripods, lightstands, and any other equipment.
3) News media planning more elaborate setup, i.e., anchor chairs, studio setup, dollies, etc., must apply for a permit (see permit rules above). Media should contact the Office of Permits Management about their request a minimum of two weeks in advance. The requesting media outlet may be billed for overtime costs for park support based on the conditions of the permit.
4) News media must carry media credentials and present those credentials when requested by park personnel.
5) Coverage of news is subject to the same restrictions and conditions as permitted events, which are necessary to protect park resources and values. Although permits are not required for (no-setup) news stories, restricted areas and federal regulations still apply.
6) Parking for satellite and microwave trucks and transmission vehicles may be made available for breaking news and news events at the discretion of the park. Parking locations for these vehicles will be announced to the media via media advisory. No parking will be available for any other vehicles for either breaking news or news events. Vehicles must always be attended.
7) Media vehicles may not block or intrude on public access or block handicap ramps.
8) In general, overnight parking of media vehicles is not permitted on park property. The Office of Communications must give permission if overnight parking is deemed necessary, and USPP must be informed. Vehicles must always be attended.
9) For large scale events, the park reserves the right to require media outlets to make pooling arrangements at least two weeks prior to the scheduled event.

C) Policies for News Media.

1) All areas open to the public must always remain open to the public.
2) All cables crossing public walkways must be covered and cannot be draped over any walls.
3)The park reserves the right to disapprove media set-ups that create safety hazards or other impairments.
4) All camera and associated equipment must be portable and self-contained with all stands having rubber tips or matting as a base.
5) All camera and associated equipment must be hand carried/hand carted to shooting locations.
6) Media related activity cannot interfere with public visitation or other permitted activities.
7) The participation of park personnel for commercial purposes must be requested in advance and approved by the Superintendent. The requesting permittee may be billed for overtime costs for park staff.
8) Restricted Areas: Interviews, standups, tripods, and any equipment other than hand-held cameras are prohibited within the memorial restricted areas, unless specifically authorized by the park through the Office of Communications. Rules for media use at and near memorials is available by contacting the Office of Communications. See restricted areas in the Public Use Limits section of this document. Maps of memorial restricted areas are available at the park website here:

V. Other Restrictions

A) Preservation of Natural, Cultural, and Archeological Resources.

Climbing trees, hanging items including swings and hammocks in trees, or cutting or collecting wood in the park is prohibited. Gathering or possessing natural products such as fruit, nuts, blossoms or plants in the park is prohibited.

B) Wildlife Protection.

Viewing wildlife with artificial light is prohibited.

C) Fires.

1) Fires are only permitted in East Potomac Park in personally provided grills, with the exception of an open fire in a personally provided container as part of a religious ceremony expression. A ceremonial fire requires a permit.
2) It is prohibited to extinguish charcoal fires by spreading on any ground surface or dumping in any body of water. It is the responsibility of the user to remove all fire by-products from the park.
3) Bonfires are prohibited with the exception of religious ceremonial fires. For guidance refer to NPS Interior 1 National Capital Area Fire and Life Safety Requirements For Outdoor Events and Tent Use, June 1, 2020:

D) Skating, Skateboards and Similar Devices.

36 CFR 2.20 generally prohibits the use of roller skates/blades, skateboards (motorized and non-motorized), coasting vehicles (motorized and non-motorized), and similar devices including portable ramps and items used to perform tricks except in designated areas. They are strictly prohibited from all memorials, steps, walls, or other site furnishings. Roller skates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices may be used in designated areas such as roadways and sidewalks outside of the memorials and memorial restricted areas.

E) Smoking.

Smoking is prohibited in the following areas:

1) In all government buildings, including memorials, and within 25 feet of any exit or entrance.
2) Within the 36 CFR 7.96 restricted areas and the restricted areas by policy.
3) Within 500 feet of any fuel storage dispensing facility.

F) Disorderly Conduct.

All activities that unreasonably disturb the general public or damage park resources are prohibited. Public urination and defecation are prohibited.

G) Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances.

The use, sale, or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all areas of the park except in designated areas of approved concessions contracted by the government and assigned by the Superintendent or within limited and clearly designated private event areas if authorized under a specific permit issued by the Superintendent. Private event areas include the Henry Bacon Turf area (Ballfield 11), West Potomac Park Private Reception Area, Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, and Constitution Garden Plaza.

H) Memorialization.

The scattering of human and pet ashes from cremation is prohibited throughout the park.

I) Interaction with Statues.

Climbing, marking, hanging any item(s) on statues is strictly prohibited. The Vietnam Women's, Martin Luther King, Jr., Vietnam Veterans, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorials are designed with the intent of allowing visitors to lightly touch the statuary located at each memorial. Therefore, this activity is allowed unless such activity impacts park resources or values, creates an unsafe or unhealthy environment, or unreasonably interferes with the commemorative atmosphere of the memorial. These statues are not designed to be climbed on.

J) Chalk, Paint, and Dye Markings.

The use of chalk, paint, dye, or other materials to mark statues, memorials, roadways, trails, sidewalks, plazas, hardscapes, and turf areas is strictly prohibited.

K) Vending.

All vending must operate under a NPS permit or concessions license per 36 CFR 7.96(k); 36 CFR 5.3; and 36 CFR 5.6.


VI. Boating and Water Use Activities

A) Vessel Operations.

The use of park shoreline and structures for the landing of boats, jet skis, canoes, kayaks, or similar devices is prohibited except for non-motorized vessels which are allowed at the East Potomac Park Day Dock (EPPDD) and except for commercial activities authorized under a Concession Contract, Commercial Use Authorization or other agreement.

B) Swimming and Wading.

Generally, 36 CFR 7.96 prohibits bathing, swimming and wading in all park fountains, memorial pools, and other bodies of water.

a. Wading and walking are allowed at the German American Friendship Garden fountains.
b. Placing feet or touching the water in the Rainbow Pool of the World War II Memorial is allowed. Wading and walking at the World War II Memorial are strictly prohibited.

VII. Vehicle Speed Limits

Pursuant to 36 CFR 4.21(b), and with the exceptions listed below, the speed limit throughout the boundaries of the National Mall and Memorial Parks is 25 MPH, which has been determined to be reasonable, safe and consistent with the purposes for which the park was established:

A) 15 MPH

1) Jefferson Drive
2) Madison Drive
3) East Basin Drive
4) West Basin Drive
5) Ohio Drive
6) Buckeye Drive

B) 30 MPH

1) Independence Avenue (between 23rd Street and 15th Streets NW)
2) Constitution Avenue (between 23rd and 15th Streets NW)



The public may not take prohibited items inside park buildings unless granted an exception or exemption by the National Park Service. Prohibited items include items that are dangerous, unlawful, or otherwise determined to create vulnerabilities to agency staff or the visiting public. “Tools of the trade” used by authorized contractors and concessioners are generally granted as an overall exemption, but the security specialist may still refuse admittance with cause.

To obtain an exception or exemption please National Mall and Memorial Parks by calling (202) 426-6841, or by writing to the Superintendent, National Mall and Memorial Parks, 1100 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, DC 20242-2000. Prohibited items are not allowed until specific authorization has been granted and communicated to appropriate personnel.

The list of prohibited items below includes but is not limited to any animate or inanimate weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury. The list below is not exhaustive and the NPS reserve the right to prohibit items not listed that otherwise meet the definition of a prohibited item.

Guns and Firearms
• Firearms (exceptions listed in 18 U.S.C. § 930)
• BB guns
• Compressed air guns
• Flare pistols
• Gun lighters
• Parts of guns and firearms
• Pellet guns
• Realistic replicas of firearms
• Spear guns Starter pistols
• Stun guns/cattle prods/shocking devices
• Ammunition

Bladed, Edged or Sharp Objects
• Axes and hatchets bows and arrows
• Drills, including cordless portable power drills
• Ice axes/Ice picks
• Saws (including cordless portable power saws)
• Knives, sabers, swords, daggers, and other bladed devices (blades less than 2 ½” exception)
• Scissors, metal with pointed tips
• Screwdrivers (except those in eyeglass repair kits)
• Razor-type blades such as box cutters, utility knives, and razor blades not in a cartridge, but excluding safety razors
• Throwing stars (martial arts)

Club-Like Items and Striking Devices
• Baseball bats
• Billy clubs
• Brass knuckles
• Cricket bats
• Crowbars
• Golf clubs
• Hammers
• Hockey sticks
• Lacrosse sticks
• Martial arts weapons, including numchucks and batons
• Night sticks
• Pool cues
• Ski poles
• Tools, including, but not limited to wrenches and pliers

All Explosives
• Ammunition
• Blasting caps
• Dynamite
• Fireworks
• Flares in any form
• Gunpowder
• Hand grenades
• Plastic explosives
• Realistic replicas of explosives

Incendiaries and flammable items
• Aerosol sprays
• Fuels, including cooking fuels and any flammable liquid fuel
• Gasoline
• Gas torches, including micro-torches and torch lighters
• Turpentine and paint thinner
• Realistic replicas of incendiaries
• Chlorine
• Compressed gas cylinders
• Liquid bleach
• Mace or pepper spray
• Spillable batteries, except those in wheelchairs
• Spray Paint Tear gas

Last updated: November 21, 2023

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1100 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20024



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