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§1-04 Prohibited Uses

Violation of any paragraph or subparagraph of this section shall subject the violator to a civil penalty, as specified in the Department’s penalty schedule. See 56 RCNY §1-07. In addition, except as otherwise provided below, such violation shall also constitute an offense (classified as a “violation” under the Penal Law), which can be punished by imprisonment of up to one day or a fine of not more than $200. As specified in this section, certain violations of specified paragraphs or subparagraphs of this section are classified by the Administrative Code as misdemeanors. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a misdemeanor can be punished by imprisonment of up to 20 days or a fine of not more than $1,000. Note that other laws, including but not limited to the Penal Law, may also apply to the conduct described below.

  1. Destruction or Abuse of Property and Equipment
    1. No person shall destroy or abuse any public property under the charge and control of the Department in a manner that causes significant damage or expense. Significant damage or expense includes, but is not limited to, damage that will require the replacement of a Department attachment, fixture, piece of equipment, or structure; major landscaping or planting; construction; or excavation. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by not more than six months imprisonment or by a fine of not more than $15,000, or by both.
    2. No person shall injure, deface, alter, write upon, destroy, remove or tamper with in any way, any real or personal property or equipment owned by or under the jurisdiction or control of the Department.
  2. Destruction or Abuse of Trees, Plants, Flowers, Shrubs and Grass
      1. No person shall cut, remove, or destroy any trees under the jurisdiction of the Department without permission of the Commissioner. Violation of this subparagraph constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by not more than six months imprisonment or by a fine of not more than $15,000, or by both. For purposes of this subparagraph, “destroy” shall include, but not be limited to, kill, carve, prune, or inflict other physical damage to the tree.
      2. No person shall deface or write upon any trees under the jurisdiction of the Department.
      3. No person shall deface, write upon, sever, mutilate, kill or remove from the ground any plants, flowers, shrubs or other vegetation under the jurisdiction of the Department without permission of the Commissioner.
    1. No person shall go upon or allow any animal or child in his or her custody to go upon any newly-seeded lawn or grass plot.
    2. No person shall go upon or allow any animal or child in his or her custody to go upon any area enclosed by fencing, temporary or permanent, where such fencing or signs posted thereon reasonably indicate that entry into such area is forbidden.
    3. No person shall possess any tools commonly used for gardening, or any plant, tree, shrub or other vegetation, in any park except where such possession is specifically designated to be permissible by the Commissioner.
    4. No person shall use a metal detector in any park, except in unvegetated beach areas. Use of metal detectors in other park areas will be permitted if the prior written consent of the Commissioner is obtained.
  3. Littering, Polluting, Dumping, and Unattended Property
    1. No person shall litter in any park. All persons shall use receptacles provided for the disposal of refuse. No person shall deposit household or commercial refuse in any park receptacle.
    2. No person shall throw, drop, allow to fall, discharge into or leave in, or otherwise introduce into Parks waters any substance, liquid or solid, gas, or other item which may or will result in the pollution of said waters. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
    3. No person shall engage in unlawful dumping in any park. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
    4. No person shall, within or adjacent to any park, store or leave unattended personal belongings.
  4. Prohibition on Glass
    Glass bottles or other glass containers are prohibited in parks. The Commissioner may, in his discretion, designate certain parks, or portions thereof, as areas wherein glass bottles or other glass containers will be permitted. Failure to comply with such prohibition on glass bottles or containers shall constitute a violation of these rules. This subdivision (d) shall not apply to glass bottles or containers used in the care and feeding of infant children.
  5. Aviation
    1. No person shall voluntarily bring, land or cause to alight within or upon any park, any airplane, hot air balloon, parachute, hang glider, or other aerial craft or device that endangers any person or property, except that certain areas may be designated appropriate landing places for medical evacuation helicopters. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
    2. No person shall voluntarily bring, land or cause to alight within or upon any park, any airplane, hot air balloon, parachute, hang glider, or other aerial craft or device, except that certain areas may be designated appropriate landing places for medical evacuation helicopters.
    3. For the purposes of this subdivision (e), voluntarily shall mean anything other than a forced landing caused by mechanical or structural failure of the aircraft or other aerial device.
  6. Explosives, Firearms and Weapons
    1. No person shall bring into or have in his or her possession in any park, any firearms, slingshots, firecrackers, missile propelling instruments or explosives, including any substance, compound, or mixture having properties of such a character that alone or in combination with other substances, compounds or mixtures, propel missiles, explode or decompose to produce flames, combustion, noise, or noxious or dangerous odors. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
    2. Paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall not apply to: a sworn member of the uniformed force of the Police Department, whether on or off-duty; persons in the military or other service of the United States who are in pursuit of official duty or duly authorized by federal law, regulation, or order to possess the relevant firearm or other item; persons in the military service of the state of New York when on duty and duly authorized by applicable regulations to possess the relevant firearm or other item; police officers as defined by subdivision 34 of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law, if not otherwise specified by this subdivision, when on duty; or peace officers as defined by section 2.10 of the criminal procedure law, when on duty.
    3. Paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit the proper use of cigarette lighters, matches or of charcoal lighter fluid in proper containers in picnic grills where permissible pursuant to the provisions of these rules.
  7. Abuse of Park Animals
    1. Except pursuant to a permit for trapping issued by the Department, no person shall molest, chase, harass, injure, wound, trap, hunt, shoot, throw missiles at, kill or remove any animal, any nest, or the eggs of any amphibian, reptile or bird, or otherwise harm or intentionally take actions that could reasonably harm any animal, nest, or such eggs. Further, no person shall knowingly buy, receive, have in his or her possession, sell or give away any such animal or egg taken from or killed within the jurisdiction of the Department, including any zoo area. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
    2. No person shall feed animals in any park (including any zoo area) except unconfined squirrels and birds, and where specifically authorized by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may also designate certain areas where all feeding of animals is prohibited. It shall be a violation of these rules to feed animals in any area where such feeding is prohibited.
  8. Reserved
  9. Failure to Control Animals
    1. Except as specified in § 1-05(s)(3) or in paragraph three of this subdivision, no person owning, possessing or controlling any animal shall cause or allow such animal to be unleashed or unrestrained in any park unless permitted by the Commissioner or authorized by law. No person owning, possessing or controlling any animal shall cause or allow such animal to be out of control in any park under any circumstances. Animals that are out of control may be seized and impounded. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
    2. Properly licensed dogs, wearing a license tag and vaccinated against rabies pursuant to the laws of the State of New York and City of New York and restrained by a leash or other restraint not exceeding six feet in length, may be brought into a park, except in no event shall dogs or other animals be allowed to enter any playground, zoo, swimming pool and swimming pool facility, bathing area and adjacent bathing beach (unless otherwise permitted by the Commissioner), bridle path (unless permitted therein by the Commissioner), fountain, ballfield, basketball court, handball court, tennis court, or other area prohibited by the Commissioner. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit persons with disabilities from bringing  service animals into areas under the Department’s jurisdiction as authorized by federal, state, or city law. Nothing herein shall prohibit horses from entering or being within a park as provided in § 1-05(q).
    3. Unless specifically prohibited herein or by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“DOHMH”), properly licensed dogs wearing a license tag and vaccinated against rabies pursuant to the laws of the State of New York and City of New York may be unleashed within a designated park or designated portions of a park from the park’s opening until 9:00 a.m. and from 9:00 p.m. until the park closes under the following conditions:
      1. such dogs shall, except for being unleashed, be kept under the control of their owner and shall not at any time harass or injure any park patron and/or, harass, injure, damage, sever, mutilate, or kill any animal, tree, planting, flower, shrub or other vegetation;
      2. such dogs shall not at any time enter any playground, zoo, swimming pool and swimming pool facility, bathing area and adjacent bathing beach (unless otherwise permitted by the Commissioner), bridle path (unless permitted therein by the Commissioner), fountain, ballfield, basketball court, handball court, tennis court, or other area prohibited by the Commissioner;
      3. such dogs shall be immediately leashed by their owners upon any direction or command of any Police Officer, Urban Park Ranger, Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer or other Department employee or employee of the DOHMH, the refusal of which direction or command shall constitute a violation of § 1-03(c); and
      4. owners of such dogs shall provide proof of current vaccination against rabies and proof of current licensing upon the request of any Police Officer, Urban Park Ranger, Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer or other Department employee or employee of the DOHMH, the refusal of which shall constitute a violation of § 1-03(c), § 1-05(s)(3) and of this subdivision.
  10. Control and Removal of Animal Waste
    1. No person shall allow any dog in his custody or control to discharge any fecal matter in any park unless he promptly removes and disposes of same.
    2. Anyone who drives a horse-drawn carriage into or within a park is required to equip it with horse hampers, horse diapers or some other similar manure catching device which is effective in preventing manure from being deposited on any park street, road or way.
  11. Urination and Defecation in Parks
    No person shall urinate or defecate in any Park, or in or upon any park building, monument or structure, except in a facility which is specifically designed for such purpose.
  12. Disorderly Behavior
    No person shall engage in disorderly behavior in a park. Disorderly behavior includes violating the following rules:
    1. No person, unless authorized to do so, shall knowingly enter or remain in a building or other structure, or upon real property, which is fenced, barricaded or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude or otherwise discourage entrance by any unauthorized individual, or shall enter or leave the jurisdiction of the Department except by designated entrance ways or exits. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
      1. No person shall climb upon any wall, fence, shelter, tree, shrub, fountain or other vegetation, or any structure or statue not specifically intended for climbing purposes.
      2. No person shall climb upon any statue or artwork not specifically intended for climbing purposes in a manner that damages or could reasonably damage such statue or artwork. Violation of this subparagraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
    2. No person shall gain or attempt to gain admittance to Department facilities or structures for the use of which charge is made without paying such charge. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
    3. No person shall engage in any form of gambling or game of chance for money.
      1. No person shall render dangerous any part of a park road. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
      2. No person shall render dangerous any part of a park.
      3. No person shall obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
    4. No person shall engage in fighting or shall assault any person.
    5. No person shall engage in any form of sexual activity.
    6. No person shall engage in a course of conduct or commit acts that endanger the safety of others.
    7. No person shall operate a bicycle, motor vehicle, or similar vehicle in a manner that endangers any other person or property. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
  13. Reserved
  14. Unlawful exposure
    No person shall appear in public in such a manner that one's genitalia are unclothed or exposed. Violation of this subdivision constitutes a misdemeanor.
  15. Obstruction of sitting areas
    No person shall use a bench or other sitting area so as to interfere with its use by other persons, including storing any materials thereon.
  16. Unlawful camping
    No person shall engage in camping, or erect or maintain a tent, shelter, or camp in any park without a permit.
  17. Unlawful spitting
    It shall be unlawful for any person to spit or expectorate in or upon any park building, monument or structure.
  18. Unhygienic use of fountains, pools, and water
    No person shall use, or permit any animal under his or her control to use, any fountain, drinking fountain, pool, sprinklers, reservoir, lake or any other water contained in the park for the purpose of washing or cleaning himself or herself, his or her clothing or other personal belongings. This subdivision shall not apply to those areas within the parks which are specifically designated for personal hygiene purposes (i.e., bathroom, shower room, etc.), provided, however, that no person shall wash his or her clothes or personal belongings in such areas.
  19. Unlawful solicitation
    1. No person shall engage in any commercial activity or commercial speech in any park, except pursuant to a permit issued under § 1-03(b) and/or § 2-08 of these rules. Violation of this paragraph constitutes a misdemeanor.
    2. No person shall solicit money or other property from persons not known to such person in any park, unless such person possesses a permit for noncommercial solicitation issued by the Commissioner.

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