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Model Crafts
Permit Required

If you enjoy navigating model planes or boats, the Forest Preserve District has the perfect area for you!


You need an annual (valid January – December only) or daily permit but can buy one online 24/7. (Scroll down for your purchase options.) You can also get permits through Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 or at our headquarters office at 3S580 Naperville Road in Wheaton Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. To apply by mail or fax, download an application in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF).

People 65 or older, active U.S. military personnel, and honorably discharged U.S. veterans are eligible for one free annual permit per household per calendar year. If this is the first time you’re requesting a free permit, you need to provide proof of your age (driver's license or birth certificate) or military-service status (active status or a DD-214 Member 4 form).

Proof of insurance is required. Include a copy of your Academy of Model Aeronautics (full adult membership only) or a copy of your homeowner's policy with a letter from your insurance agent stating the policy covers use of a model craft.

Fullerton Park
Model helicopters, drones, and quadcopters

Greene Valley
Nonpowered model gliders or sailplanes (battery-powered assist engines only if needed)

Pratt's Wayne Woods
Model planes, helicopters, drones, and quadcopters

Springbrook Prairie
Model planes, helicopters, drones, and quadcopters

Waterfall Glen
Woodland Aero Modelers Club members only
Model planes, helicopters, drones, and quadcopters

Cricket Creek
Model boats on Riverbend Pond

man posing next to model airplane

Annual Permits

Model Aircraft

DuPage Resident $35/year
Nonresident $45/year


Model Boat

DuPage Resident $25/year
Nonresident $40/year


Rules & Regulations

For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, you must follow these rules and regulations, which the Forest Preserve District may change at any time.

  • Only use designated model crafts in the designated DuPage forest preserve areas. Use is first-come, first-served unless someone obtains exclusive use from the Forest Preserve District via written request.
  • Carry your permit with you when using a model-craft area, and present it to a Forest Preserve District agent for inspection if requested.
  • Operate your transmitter only when operating your craft, and double-check to make sure no one’s using the same frequency.
  • Fit all craft with mufflers, and use mats or platforms when fueling gasoline-powered engines to protect the grass.

For Model Aircraft

  • Per the Academy of Model Aeronautics, do not fly planes or helicopters over 55 pounds or gliders or sailplanes over 15 pounds.
  • If you fly a drone with a first-person video system, you must have a spotter.
  • Affix your current Forest Preserve District permit or pin to the control stand to indicate which radio band you’re using. Turn off any radio bands you’re not using. At Greene Valley, affix a frequency flag to your transmitter antenna and a similar flag of the same color with your name and frequency to your frequency control device.
  • Carry your aircraft to the runway and do not taxi into or through the pit area.
  • Control your aircraft from designated flight lines per selected flight patterns, which are posted at each area. Respect fellow operators and their flight patterns regardless of the type of aircraft.
  • Yield the right-of-way to landing aircraft and to aircraft that have just landed.
  • Follow all Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations specific to your type of aircraft.

For Model Boats

  • Do not operate boats over 25 pounds (including fuel), over 60 inches long (bow to stern) or over 90 dBA.
  • Affix a frequency flag to your transmitter antenna.
  • When launching your boat, yield to other boats operating in the designated water pattern or returning to the launch area.
  • Do not swim or use full-sized boats or rafts to retrieve stalled boats. Affix a rubber ball to the end of a fishing line, cast over the boat to snag it, and reel it to shore. Or with a second person, stretch 50-pound test line across the lake to capture the boat and drag it to shore.

As a permit holder you agree to abide by these rules and regulations as well as all Forest Preserve District ordinances and administrative orders and state statutes. You also understand that the Forest Preserve District may fine you or revoke your permit without refunding your permit fee if you supply false information on your application or fail to comply with any rules, regulations, ordinances, orders, or statutes.