The Chicago Park District welcomes the use of the parks for scientific research. A Research Permit is required for most scientific activities conducted on park land, including, but not limited to: studies and surveys of humans, flora and fauna, soil, and water, and activities that involve data collection, specimen collections, and other sampling.   

To apply for a Research Permit, submit a complete application package according to the instructions below, and please allow thirty (30) days for review.

Science in the Parks Projects

View the Chicago Park District’s annual reports on research and monitoring in the parks:




Submittal Requirements

The following is required to apply for a Research Access Permit:

1.    Completion of the online Research Access Permit Application

2.    Letter of intent on the researcher’s official letterhead (uploaded via the online application), including:
  a.  a detailed description of the scope of research, 
  b.  anticipated start-of-research and end-of-research dates, 
  c.  whether there is intent to publicize project findings in any manner, and
  d.  site plan for each park, including study/equipment location, access route(s), and parking locations. Indicate signage placement locations for park visitors if access is restricted or redirected due to research activities.

3.    Certificate of Insurance or Individual Signed Waivers 
  a.  Certificate of Insurance and the CG 20 26 endorsement (or current equivalent), from the researcher complying with the requirements set forth in Research Access Permit Insurance Requirements, naming the Chicago Park District as the Certificate Holder and as Additionally Insured, OR
  b.  a written list of all investigators/project participants and individual waivers signed by each investigator/project participant. 

4.    Signature page from the Research Access Permit Terms and Conditions document.


A minimum of thirty (30) days review time should be allowed, once all the application items have been received by the Park District. Additional time may be needed, depending on the nature and complexity of the project.

Please note: 

  • Rates such as, but not limited to, permit fees, program fees, and facility rental fees may apply.
  • The Chicago Park District reserves the right to use data collected from this research for areas such as, but not limited to, park management, programming, and marketing efforts.
  • Researchers with outstanding or unpaid fines and/or monetary damages assessed from previous permitted (or non-permitted) work will not be issued permit extensions or permits for new work until the outstanding assessments are paid in full.