‘It’s a public park!’: Photographer upset KC Parks enforces permits

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A popular park in Kansas City is enforcing a photography permit, after they say they have been recently overrun with professional photographers.

Signs at Loose Park now read, ‘a city issued permit is required for Weddings and Photo Shoots in Loose Park.”

“It’s not new. The Kansas City, city ordinance [50-163] says if you are doing business on city property, or parks property, you have to have a permit,” Leslie Alford, Communications & Development Manager for KC Parks, said. “When COVID broke out, our trails and our parks were being utilized at record numbers, as well as photography.”

This ordinance is being enforced after Alford says park staffers noticed an extreme use of the area and damage to the rose garden from photography sessions.

Workers are on high alert for photographers doing business without proper permits rated at $25 per hour.

The permits are also hoped to help reduce scheduling conflicts and interruptions during special events, like weddings and help maintain the park’s beauty.

“It’s a public park, so why would I have to come out here and pay them anything to take pictures in a park?” Michael Orr, a local photographer, said. “As a photographer, the background is your look, why would I come out here and trample anything or mess up anything, in general, you want it to look nice,”

Some photographers say they were never aware of the permit and believe a public park should be free.

“If they don’t want us to take pictures in this park and they want us to pay, it doesn’t need to be publicly funded. It needs to be a private entity. They need to take public funds and take it to other parks,” said Orr.

The Shoal Creek Living History Museum is also requiring permits.

Click here to find more information about how to get a permit.

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