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Permits and Reports

The University of Akron Field Station welcomes the use of its facilities by any organization with an interest in the study of or preservation of the natural world.  To learn more about the resources available to you, click here.  Before applying for a permit to use The University of Akron Field Station or Bath Nature Preserve, please read the following guidelines.  All permit requests will be processed in a timely fashion.


Information on:  Education Permits     Research Permits     Reconnaissance Permits


Approved Research & Education Permits


Submit a Permit Application     Submit a Report



Educators/researchers requesting access to the preserve are required to submit a permit application to the Field Station Committee at the University of Akron. The committee will review all permits, and will only approve those which conform with the goals and policies of our academic mission. Acceptable permits pertaining to research or educational projects that are not on the Research Areas (see map below) will be forwarded to the Bath Trustees for their approval. Permits concerning activity on Research Areas will be submitted to Bath for review and comment. Approved projects will be for the period originally outlined in the applications, and any extensions must be approved by the Bath Trustees and/or the Field Station Committee, depending on activity area.


The Bath Nature Preserve (BNP) is open to the public, but access is restricted to trails and approved areas and use must follow strict guidelines. Permission to access the BNP for educational or research activities is granted through a permitting process. Currently three types of permits are available. You should be able to determine which type of permit to apply for by reading the brief descriptions below, but if you are still uncertain about which to apply for or have a question about a specific permit, please contact Dr. Randy Mitchell or Dr. Greg Smith. Please note that none of the three explanations below are meant to be all-inclusive descriptions about the kind of permit you will need for work on the BNP. Please use discretion and judgment in considering which permit you need.  


Education Permit

This permit is applicable for all educators who want to use the BNP for formal educational projects projects (grade school through graduate school). Any visits (regardless of duration or size of class) made to the BNP with students as part of a class must be approved by receipt of an Education Permit.


Research Permit

This permit is required for any research activities conducted on the BNP (whether they visibly disturb the site or not) by faculty, undergraduates or graduate students. If you intend to produce a written report in the form of a thesis, undergraduate or graduate paper, or a publication, then it is likely you need a research permit. Any of the following activities requires a Research Permit (the list is meant as examples, and is not exhaustive) faculty research projects, undergraduate honors theses or biological problems projects, graduate thesis projects, etc.


Reconnaissance Permit

A Reconnaissance Permit is NOT a substitute for a formal Research or Education Permit but does allow off-trail access to the BNP for specific, short- term, non-intrusive research and education purposes. Formal research projects require a Research Permit, but in order to determine the feasibility of a project, it may be necessary to do preliminary data collection and reconnaissance. Such pilot research can be done with a Reconnaissance Permit. However, a Reconnaissance Permit is not a valid way of using a class to collect preliminary data for a future research project. Also, it may be necessary or desirable to escort other personnel onto the BNP as part of outreach activities, and those holding a Reconnaissance Permit can do this. For example, if a local school contacts a faculty member about visiting the BNP to see what research is being conducted, then a holder of a Reconnaissance Permit could do that.


When preparing your permit, please review the summaries of other active projects to check for possible conflicts (  To screen for potential conflicts of use, and to evaluate the permit, we will circulate the application via email to all current permit holders and to Bath Parks. Once your permit has been approved, you will be notified, supplied with a placard for your vehicle (if appropriate), and will be free to go about your business. A summary of your planned activities will be placed on the BNP Active Projects web page listed above.


RESEARCH AREAS -- The University has several research areas (18 Acres, Beefy's Woods, Garden Pond, Grandview Alley / Big Top, Round Top, and South Woods -- click here for a map) in which we can do simple manipulative studies without requiring permission from the Bath Township trustees. Those areas are listed in red in the figure below. Any and all educational or research activities conducted outside the Research Areas must be non-intrusive in nature (e.g., non-manipulative research projects, minimal flagging, etc.), and will not be protected from public access. Research activity that alters the ecological functioning of these Research Areas will be remediated as soon as possible after the conclusion of the study. Work in the Research areas will require approval of other BNP permit holders (mostly UA faculty and students). This approval can be gained within about a week (via email).


SENSITIVE AREAS -- Sensitive areas (Bath Pond, Garden Bowl, North Fork, and Tamarack Bog / Wetland -- click here for a map) are protected from public access to maintain their health. Any work to be conducted on these areas will be generally non-intrusive in nature (i.e., will not include any manipulation experiments), and must be approved by both the Bath Trustees as well as the University of Akron’s Field Station committee.


If  Township approval is needed for your permit (this means if you're doing anything off the trails anywhere but the Research Areas), the approval process is slower, and you must plan accordingly. We forward permits to the Trustees only three times a year, so permit applications for these areas must be completed on that time schedule. The schedule for permits requiring Township approval is:


Permit Submission Deadline      Approximate Date of Approval

April 10                                   May 17

August 3                                  September 10

December 10                           January 17


Once your permit is approved, you will be notified by email, and you may proceed with your project, always careful to follow the guidelines and protect the preserve's integrity. Please carry a copy of your permit with you when on the preserve.


 IMPORTANT -- If your project requires that you drive beyond the main parking lot, you will need to display in the windshield placard/permit a which announces that you are an authorized user. Unauthorized users may be towed, at the owner’s expense! Please follow all restrictions on the permit, and carry the permit with you when on the BNP.



Permit Application Forms


Online Application

Click here to submit a permit application online. 


Paper Applications

The following permit applications are MS Word documents.  After completing the appropriate form, save the file and email it to Greg Smith at or print and mail to:  Department of Biology, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-3908. 


Research Permit Application

Educational Activity Permit Application

Reconnaissance Permit Application



Provide comments to Greg Smith at


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Page Updated:  February 26, 2009