Review below some of the most frequently asked questions about a variety of activities in Bloomington's parks.
What are the rules regarding drone use?
Based on the City’s proximity to the airport there are several parks where drones are prohibited by Federal Aviation Administration regulations. For all other City parks, permits are required. Permits help filter out unsafe drone pilots by requiring that users show compliance with existing FAA certifications. Visit faa.gov/uas for more information on certification.
To acquire a drone operation permit, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-563-8877. Fee is $25 per calendar year with no prorating. All permits expire at midnight on December 31 each year, regardless of when they were purchased.
Information required to process permit includes name, address, phone number, email address and copy of FAA pilot certification.
Can amplified sound be used in parks?
If you are hosting a private event at a City park and you want to use sound amplifiers or loudspeakers, you need a permit. This helps ensure that those hosting these events are aware of and have an opportunity to comply with the noise regulations in the City.
When do I need a permit?
Any photography or videography in City parks, when used for commercial use, requires a permit. "Commercial filming” is defined as the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income.
What if I want to film a short movie or a commercial?
If you plan to use your film to develop business for your company or organization then you must obtain a permit. Student films, videos of your family in a park, taking senior photos, wedding pictures or other personal uses do not require a permit.
Are there rules regarding taking photos of children?
Yes. It is not permitted in City parks to take a photo of a child if you know the child’s caregiver does not give consent. For example, if you are taking a photograph of your child and accidentally photograph another child, you did not intend to take a photo of the other child. You are in compliance with the rule. This rule applies to city parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities. An example is the City pool. When in doubt, ask for consent before taking a photo or filming a child in City parks.
My child plays on a sports team. Can I take pictures of the team playing?
Unless you know that a parent or guardian objects to photos or videos of their children and you continue to take pictures or film the game, you are in compliance with this rule.
What if I want to take a photo or film a child, but their guardian tells me to stop?
You are in violation of the rule because you plan to photograph/film a child and you know that their guardian has not given consent.
I want to capture a picture of a city park, but children happen to be there- do I still need to follow this rule? I am just taking a picture of the park, not the kids.
You have several options. First, you can always ask for the consent of the child’s parent or guardian. Second, you can wait until children have left the park and proceed with your photo.
What happens if I knowingly film or photograph a child after a parent or guardian says “no”?
Like all other park rules, such as snowmobiling or horseback riding outside of designated areas, City staff will instruct you to stop. If you continue, you may be asked to leave the park or facility.
What is the best way to make sure I have a parent or guardian’s consent to photograph a child?
The best way is to ask the parent or guardian directly. Many children’s sports teams and City programs include ways for parents to “opt out” of photography. This may be due to various reasons including complicated custody situations or to protect the child’s privacy. Checking with your organization is also a great way to ensure that consent has been given. Consent may be verbal, written or implied based upon the circumstances.
Are there exceptions to this child photography rule?
Yes. Consistent with state law, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if a child were committing a crime or if there is a direct threat to another’s safety.
I noticed that Park Rules prohibit playing games like football and baseball outside of designated areas. But can we throw a football around at the park?
Yes! This provision was recently changed. Get out and enjoy our parks!