Picnic Shelter Rules & Regulations

The following rules and regulations apply to conduct at all NOVA Parks rental shelters 

NOVA Parks shelters are intended for use for a simple picnic consisting of food, beverage, and guests. Amusement devices such as inflatables, rock walls, etc. are not permitted in the park. If your event is outside the scope of a simple picnic, a Special Use Application and $25 non-refundable processing fee is required along with your reservation.  This application does not reserve the shelter.  The shelter reservation must be made separately.

Inclement Weather, Cancellation and Change Policy

  • 25% or $20, whichever is greater, of the shelter rental fee will be retained in the event of a cancellation with a minimum of 10 days advance notice.
  • No refunds will be given for cancellations with less than 10 days advance notice.
  • A $25.00 fee will be charged for changes to a reservation with a minimum of 10 days advance notice.
  • No changes will be made to a reservation with less than 10 days advance notice.
  • No refunds or changes will be granted in the event of inclement weather.

Shelter Capacity

  • Groups must strictly adhere to shelter capacity restrictions.
  • Groups that exceed the maximum occupancy limit will forfeit use of the shelter.

The following activities require express approval from NOVA Parks.  Approval is not guaranteed for any event, activity or device.

  • Operation of special food and beverage amusements such as snow cone machines, popcorn makers, food vendors and outside catering.
  • Privately owned equipment such as animal or mechanical rides, inflatable play amusements or rock climbing walls may not be brought into the park.
  • Conduct of camps, fairs, exhibitions, rallies, fundraising efforts, races, walks, athletic league games or practices and other organized events.
  • Set up of additional tables and chairs. 

 The following items are prohibited in all NOVA Parks shelters

  • More than one 10 x 10 (maximum size) tent, canopy or other temporary structure
  • Sale of food, beverages or other goods.
  • Collection of fees or monetary contributions.
  • Use of generators.
  • Removal of tables and grills.
  • The use of tape, glue, nails, tacks, screws, staples or other fasteners that may scratch or otherwise damage surfaces of the shelter.
  • Any form of personal grills or cooking devices..
  • Amusement devices such as inflatables, rock walls, etc. 
  • The use of musical instruments, radios and other sound devices and amplified sound equipment is prohibited within the park.  
  • Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in the park, except in designated areas when administered by NOVA Parks.


  • Parking is on a first come, first serve basis and is not guaranteed with the shelter rental.
  • Vehicles and trailers must park in designated paved and gravel parking areas only.
  • Driving to a shelter for any purpose is strictly prohibited including unloading and loading.

Arrival and Departure

  • Shelters are not available prior to or later than the scheduled rental time.
  • Clean up should begin prior to the end of the rental time and the shelter must be completely vacated at the end of the rental period. 
  • All trash must be bagged and placed in the proper receptacle for pick-up by park staff.
  • During the rental period and upon departure the renter is responsible for removal of all ground trash including but not limited to piñata scraps, confetti, balloons and streamers.
  • Shelter use is by reservation only and all appropriate fees must be paid.
  • A reservation confirmation will be issued to one adult who will be the group representative.
  • All contact between the group and park staff will be handled by the group representative only, throughout the entire event.
  • Entrance fees for non-jurisdiction residents apply at Bull Run and Pohick Bay Regional Parks.

Failure to abide by these rules may result in violators being ejected from the park with no refund.  Park management retains the authority to ask any group using a shelter to disperse and vacate the area.  Additional fees may be charged for abuse or violations.

Public activity at all properties and facilities owned and operated by NOVA Parks is controlled by state law, local ordinance, Park Authority Regulations, Park Authority Rules and general operating policies, permits and procedures, each providing penalties for non-compliance.