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Special Use Permits

Somerset County Parks has a location for all your special events!

Wedding at Leonard J. Buck Garden
Flying Field at North Branch Park
Dog Show at North Branch Park

Somerset County Park Commission offers permits for rental of county facilities for a variety of outdoor uses, including athletic fields, dog and horse shows, picnics, scout camping, softball, tennis leagues, wedding photos, and other special events. Somerset County Park Commission also rents the SHOWMOBILE, a portable stage complete with a sound system, to groups within the county who are producing parades, concerts, and community day events.

If you are interested in obtaining a permit for any of the above-mentioned activities, please call 908 722-1200, ext. 5225. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may use the Relay Service at 711. Please note that individuals and organizations requesting a permit must agree that while using the facilities made available by the Somerset County Park Commission, they will not discriminate in any manner against any person by reason of race, color, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, national origin, or religious or political affiliation. Please allow a minimum of two to four weeks when scheduling.

Flying Field Permits

Flying enthusiasts who hold a valid AMA License and a Park Commission Flying Field Permit may use the flying field at North Branch Park. Flying hours are 10:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

All flyers are considered "students" until rated by a designated check pilot — students must fly with the assistance of a pilot. Somerset Signal Senders Volunteer Check Pilots conduct check flights for students to demonstrate proficiency in flight skills in order to obtain pilot status themselves.

Permits are valid for a calendar year, expiring December 31. New flying field users must file for an initial permit in person at Park Headquarters, 355 Milltown Road, Bridgewater. All permit applicants must have a valid AMA number and a FAA registration number. For a list of check pilots, flying field regulations, or information about obtaining a permit, please call Somerset County Park Commission at 908 722-1200 ext. 5226. Individuals with hearing impairments may use the relay service at 711. (a link for fly enthusiasts!)

Renewals: You may renew your permit by mail by sending a copy of your 2021 AMA membership card and FAA registration, along with the actual 2020 Park Commission permit card to: Somerset County Park Commission, P.O Box 5327, North Branch, NJ 08876. Please also enclose a check made payable to "Somerset County Park Commission" for the appropriate fee. Fees are as follows: Somerset County resident $30, Nonresident $50, Youth $15.

You may renew your permit on-line by clicking here.


Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also known as drones are regulated by rules promulgated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the State of New Jersey. In order to promote public safety for park visitors and residents, the Somerset County Park Commission has also developed a policy to limit to use of UAS within park property. 

Operation (flying) of a UAS is prohibited on property maintained by the Park Commission except in areas set aside and designated for such purposes or with an approved  Park Commission Permit in adherence with FAA rules. The Park Commission has designated an area within North Branch Park as the Flying Field, which allows flying of recreational model aircraft and drones.  Specific regulations for this field have been developed in conjunction with the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the FAA.  Pilots of these aircrafts require an annual AMA card, an annual FAA registration card, and an annual Park Commission Flying Field Permit.  The Park Commission recognizes that these regulations may be more stringent than what the FAA requires. 

The Park Commission shall consider other limited recreational use of UAS, on a case by case basis, and if approved, would issue a special permit.  Examples of these uses may include, but are not limited to, delineating a specific area within a park during a special event to demonstrate how a UAS works, and law enforcement, fire, and other emergency services training. All approved recreational permit holders shall be subject to the same Park Commission Flying Field Regulations, governed by the AMA and FAA, and shall also require insurance in an amount designated by the Park Commission, naming the County of Somerset and the Park Commission as additional insured. 



  Wedding Ceremony and Posed Photography Permits:
  Colonial Park Gardens: 908 722-1200 ext. 5721

  Wedding and Posed Photography Permits Only (No Ceremonies)
  Buck Garden: 908 722-1200 ext. 5621


  E-mail the Recreation Dept. with any questions
  or comments