Facilities Overview and Rules


WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the County of Dauphin, Pennsylvania, has established, by Resolution, a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the County of Dauphin, Pennsylvania , has hired and retained a Director for Parks and Recreation purpose; and

WHEREAS, it has been recommended to the Board of Commissioners by the Dauphin County Parks and Recreation Advisory Board that rules and regulations for the operation of the recreational facilities supervised by the County be enacted and enforced.

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the provisions of Sections 2510, 2511, and 2512 of the County Code, Be It Enacted and Ordained, by the Board of Commissioners of Dauphin County as follows:

Section I
  1. All County parks shall be open for public use on a year-round basis, unless otherwise designated.
  2. No persons are permitted in any park during the hours of darkness except in those areas designated for extended use activities or unless written permission is obtained from the Director of Parks and Recreation for after dark programs.
  3. The Director of Parks and Recreation may temporarily close or curtail activities upon any lands or waters, or any portions thereof, when it has been deemed necessary to be in the best interest of public safety, conduct, health, order or park resource.
  4. The operation of power-watercraft is prohibited on waters under the supervision of the Parks and Recreation Department of the County of Dauphin; watercraft shall not be anchored, moored, beached, stored or left unattended in excess of 24 hours within any park. No persons shall swim from any watercraft, raft or similar device at any time.
  5. Swimming is prohibited in all parks except on facilities expressly designed for the purpose. Personal bathing is prohibited.
  6. No person shall ride in or drive any motor vehicle which is self-propelled upon any parkland, except upon open roads or on areas which are designed and provided for such purposes. It is prohibited for any persons to commit any act, by use or operation, of any motor vehicle on any parkland, which if committed upon a public highway or street, in the State of Pennsylvania, would be prohibited and unlawful. Speed limits within all parks shall be ten (10) miles per hour unless otherwise posted. No one shall test, repair, wash any vehicle or mechanical device in any park. There shall be no parking at any time except in areas designated for such purposes.
  7. No person shall, without written permission of the Director of Parks and Recreation, erect, paint, paste, or otherwise affix or distribute any signs, advertisements, or circulars on park property. The sale of anything or the solicitation of funds or donations within any park is forbidden, except upon written permission of the Director of Parks and Recreation.
  8. The sale, consumption, or possession of intoxicating liquors or beverages and dangerous or narcotic drugs, or gambling of any kind is prohibited in any park.
  9. No person shall cut, break, move, take or otherwise injure, destroy or deface any trees, shrubs, plants, turf, rock or any building, fence, bridge, sign or other structures, or foul any stream, or dump any earth, rubbish or other substances or material in or upon any park.
  10. No person shall make or kindle any open fire except in fireplaces and grills provided for this purpose or in private portable grills, approved as safe by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Grills provided for public use shall be on a first come first served basis.
  11. No person shall, in any park set a trap or snare, or shoot, injure, annoy, disturb, poison any wild animal or bird, or injure or destroy any nest, unless deemed necessary or desirable in the best interest of the park and its users, by the Director of Parks and Recreation.
  12. All persons are forbidden to use threatening, abusive, insulting or indecent language, or commit any obscene or indecent act or fight in any park.
  13. Domestic animals and pets are prohibited in any park as posted. Horseback riding is prohibited, except on facilities or locations expressly designated for that purpose.
  14. No person shall (a) discharge any firearm as that term is defined by §6120(b) of the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act except for law enforcement authorities in the performance of their duty or the justifiable use of force as authorized by Chapter 5 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, or (b) to use or possess a knife upon their person having a blade of 3 inches or longer in length, or any bow and arrow, sling shot, air rifle, BB gun, air pistol, rocket(s), sling shot, bow and arrow, explosive and paint gun or any other device (other than firearms as defined above) capable of throwing any projectile of any sort, including the hand throwing of rocks or stones intended to be used as weapons, or (c) kill, hunt, trap or pursue or in any manner deliberately disturb any wildlife in the facility any park, except in facilities expressly designate or provided for that purpose.
  15. Using park areas for golf and archery is prohibited, except on facilities expressly designated or provided for such purposes.
  16. No entertainment, demonstration, or exhibition shall be given in any park except under the supervision of the Director of Parks and Recreation or with the written permission of the Director of Parks and Recreation.
  17. Permits for playing league or casual athletic games on park fields or courts may be secured on first come first served basis from the Director of Parks and Recreation. All permits that are granted must be produced upon demand, in order to avoid conflicts in the use of the facilities.
  18. Reservation permits for group picnic shelter facilities or for exclusive, temporary group use of park facilities may be obtained for a nominal fee upon request from the Director of Parks and Recreation.
  19. No person or persons shall willingly encroach upon lands administered by the Parks and Recreation Department of the County of Dauphin.
  20. Fishing shall be permitted in all waters and from all lands during regular park hours, in compliance with Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Laws, except those areas designated for other activities or extended use. The taking of amphibians or reptiles is not permitted in any park (ordinance #2-95, Section 1, 3).
  21. Parking of motor vehicles for non-park use (carpooling) is prohibited.
  22. Feeding of wildlife is prohibited.
  23. The use of metal detectors and subsequent digging and removal of artifacts on any park lands is prohibited.
  24. Where the aforementioned rules requiring written permission to be obtained, require, such written permits must be carried and produced upon demand.
Section 2
The aforesaid rules and regulations shall be enforced by appropriate law enforcement officials, police and/or guards employed by the County of Dauphin as part of its Parks and Recreation Department, and the staff and employees of the Parks and Recreation Department of the County of Dauphin.
Section 3
Any person violating any terms or provisions of this Ordinance and the rules and regulations provided herein shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall pay a fine of not less than Five Dollars ($5.00) nor more than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for the first offense, and not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) or more than Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) for each subsequent offense. Each violation shall be a separate offense.
Section 4
Jurisdiction of any complaints or actions brought in relation to violation of this Ordinance shall be vested in the District Justice in whose jurisdiction the offense occurs or in the event said District Justice is not available, then the closest available District Justice in the County. All applicable statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and ordinances of the County of Dauphin shall have full force and effect upon any and all County parks or recreation areas. 
Section 5 Repealer
All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
Section 6 Severability
If any sentence, clause, section or part of this Ordinance is found for any reason to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality, or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections, or parts of this Ordinance. It is hereby declared, to be the intent of the Board of Commissioners of the County of Dauphin that this Ordinance would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid sentence, clause, section or part thereof not been included herein.