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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Research Policy

Portland Parks & Recreation encourages the use of parkland as a research laboratory in areas such as urban ecology and recreation, especially where research results can help build our knowledge base related to our parks and/or their management.

All research taking place on property owned or managed by PP&R requires a permit. There are no fees, but the permit is required. Applications will be accepted at any time and must be updated at the end of each calendar year by filing a yearly progress report. Where impacts to park resources or other visitors are anticipated, these impacts must be minimized and the research benefits articulated. Any impacts to the park as a result of research must be repaired or mitigated.

To benefit from park research, PP&R requires copies of reports and publications; published or unpublished data, must be made available upon request.

Process of Permit Review

  • Submit application as directed below. Note: Please contact us in advance if you are proposing archeological or social science research as additional permits or review may be required.
  • Permit review normally should take no more than 3 weeks.
  • Submission of an application for use of PP&R property does not necessarily guarantee that parkland will be made available for the requested use.

Conditions of Research in Portland parks

  • Portland Parks & Recreation requires a copy of any reports and publications based on this study. Data must also be submitted on request.
  • Permits expire on December 31 of each year. They are renewable on submission of the required Annual Report. Annual Reports are due November 15.
  • All markings and equipment left in a park must be marked with the research permit number, and must be removed within one month of completion of research.
  • Any damage to park property resulting from your research must be remedied.
  • Applicants are responsible for documenting that they have acquired necessary state and institutional permits.
  • Portland Parks & Recreation assumes no liability for researchers or their equipment.

* Required Field

Application for Research on Park Property

Primary Research/Contact Person

* indicates required field

Is the site you wish to conduct research on East or West of the Willamette River, or multiples sites that are both?
Information about organization/institution with which you are affiliated
Student Research

NOTE: If this is student research, your advisor must submit a letter or email acknowledging support and oversight of this work.

Cut and paste the following and send to your advisor:
I am applying for a permit to conduct research on Portland Parks & Recreation property. They need to know that you support and will oversee my work. Please send a brief email to that effect, including my name and project title, to the Research Permit Coordinator.

Research topic keywords

Check any keywords below that apply to your research and list up to five more specific keywords (e.g., winter wren, amphibians, nesting, trails).


For a full, searchable list of parks, please go to Find A Park
(NOTE: this link will open a new web page window.)

Specific location within the park(s)

We want to know where within the park(s) you will be working. Please identify all the places where you will be doing research, how many there are, and describe them. Will they be on or off trail? Will GPS locations be collected? Please include a map if possible. If you need assistance selecting a site for your project, let us know and when we review the permit application we can help with that.

(Maximum file size: 30MB)
Habitat Type

Please check the appropriate box(es), and if a natural area, please indicate in which habitat you will be doing your research.


Describe the timing of your project. How long will you be doing research (days, months, years)? How frequently will you be visiting the site(s)? Please be as specific as possible. If you will be doing research in more than one calendar year, you will need to fill out an Annual Report by November 15 before permission can be allowed for the continuation of research. Call Bryan Aptekar at 503-823-5594 if you have questions.

Equipment: equipment and materials to be used

If you are leaving research equipment of any type (e.g., insect traps, site markers) please describe and/or submit a photo/drawing of the equipment so that our field staff will recognize these items and their purpose. Note that any equipment or markings (including flagging or stakes) left in a park must be clearly marked with your research permit number or will be subject to removal. All equipment and markings must be removed upon completion of the study.

(Maximum file size: 30MB)
Site Impact

Your research may have unintended impacts on a park. Following a given transect repeatedly can create an appearance of a trail that other park users may follow. Survey flagging detracts from the natural appearance of a park and may alarm park visitors. Please be specific about your expected impacts. Will you be trampling vegetation in a natural area? Leaving markings in site of trails? How will the expected impacts be minimized or mitigated?


Detail any expected collections and permits/approvals required. Note that you are responsible for documenting that you have acquired necessary state and institutional permits. State permits are required for collection of any state or federally listed plants on any public land and to handle or capture wildlife.

Aid Park Management

If appropriate, describe how your research results will aid park management.

Anticipated Products

Please describe any anticipated products of your research in the appropriate section.

Contact Information

Portland Parks & Recreation
Customer Service Center
1120 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204
Fax: 503-823-2515