Designated First Amendment Areas
Valley Forge has two designated areas for First Amendment activities:
Events with uncertain attendance numbers that could exceed 50 participants will be directed to the designated area in the visitor center parking lot.
Freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly are constitutional rights. The courts have recognized however, that activities associated with the exercise of these rights may be reasonably regulated in order to protect park resources.
Free speech activities that contain the following require a permit:
What kinds of activities DO NOT require a permit?
Even if your free speech activity fits the criteria below and does not require a permit, we request that you provide reasonable notice of the proposed event, including whether there is any reason to believe that there may be an outside attempt to disrupt, protest, or prevent the activity.
Please send an email to Lisa Waterman at email@example.com with any details you have about your activity.
Groups of 25 or less if the following conditions are met:
What is not allowed?
Anything that would:
Intentional or reckless harassment of park visitors with physical contact is prohibited.
Trespassing, entering or remaining in or upon property not open to the public, except with the express invitation or consent of the National Park Service is prohibited. (36 CFR 2.31)
How to apply for a permit
Feel free to attach any additional information (including proposed flyers, word documents, etc.) to your application. Do not advertise any event in the park that requires a permit until you have at least initial approval for your date and location.
The park has up to 10 days to approve a permit or issue a written denial.
When the requested use is a right involving access to park land for the exercise of First Amendment rights including freedom of assembly, speech, religion and press, the superintendent will issue a permit without any requirement for fees, cost recovery or insurance.
Media coverage of First Amendment activities
An exception to the designated area requirement would be for the press for the filming or documentation of breaking news. News coverage does not require a permit, for either filming or photography, but is subject to time, place and manner restrictions, if warranted, to maintain order and ensure the safety of the public and the media, and protect natural and cultural resources.
Code of Federal Regulations
Last updated: March 21, 2022