The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens requires a permit for all commercial, portrait or posed photography (families, individuals, etc.) Photographers hired for rental occasions do not need a separate permit to photograph the event. Nature photography does not require a permit as long as photos are not sold.
There are specific photography locations where equipment can be set up and parties posed:
- Xeriscape Garden patio
- Monet Garden patio, north or south. Both patios can not be used for photography simultaneously.
- Ailie’s Glade rock. Do not go past the rock, further up the hill or into the streamway.
- Lakeside Amphitheater
- Byrd’s Grove walk
- Cohen Iris Garden patio
- Marder Garden pergola walk
- East Bridge rocks
- West Bridge
- Any grassy area accessible without stepping into mulched/garden areas.
Call the Arboretum at 913-685-3604 to reserve a permit. Two permit options are available:
- Hourly: Allows photography or video, for portrait or posed commercial purposes - $25 per hour
- Annual: Allows unlimited photography or video sessions, for portrait or posed commercial purposes - $400 per year. Permits are valid for one year from date of purchase.
Photography permits may be reserved up to 30 days in advance. No more than four hours may be reserved by one permit holder per day. There will be no more than four reservations issued per hour and there are some days and times when no permits will be issued. Reservation times begin at the top of the hour and in one-hour increments. They are unavailable on the following:
- Sunday, noon to close
- Additional times may be blocked at the discretion of the Parks Services Director.
- All visitors should read and act according to Arboretum etiquette.
- All permit holders must check in at the admissions kiosk when they arrive and leave. After presenting a valid permit, you will receive a tag that must be worn in full view at all times. The tag must be returned when departing. If your permit time is exceeded, you will be charged for the additional time.
- Photography parties larger than 10 people must call the Arboretum in advance, to allow staff to be prepared for the large group.
- Be on time. Your session will not be extended without an additional fee, and you will have to exit the Arboretum at closing time, regardless of your arrival time and permit duration.
- Garden rentals supersede photography permits. Do not photograph in an area reserved by a private party.
- Do not leave props, clothing or personal belongings unattended. The Arboretum is not liable for damage to personal belongings while on site.
- Changing clothes in the gardens or on the trails is not permitted.
- Dogs or other pets are not allowed in the gardens. Gardens are any area with concrete sidewalk access.
- Do not photograph individuals or groups on the Money Bridge, the Boardwalk or the Legacy Bridge.
Failure to follow any of the rules could void photography permits or access to future permits. Any damage to flowers, trees, shrubs, containers, sculptures, etc. will be charged to the permit holder.
Photography parties may visit the Arboretum prior to or after their reservation; however, no photography equipment may accompany them. In case of inclement weather, contact the Arboretum and a replacement permit will be issued.