Policy: Public Use of Hope Church Grounds
This Policy is informational and subject to change, with or without written notice, and all permissible access referenced herein is subject to revocation at the discretion of the Hope Unitarian Church (“Hope”) Board of Trustees.
Generally, the public is allowed temporary access to the grounds and trails from dawn to dusk when such access does not interfere with church functions or events being held by other authorized groups.
The purpose of this access is to allow individuals or small groups the opportunity for quiet contemplation or to enjoy and observe the natural setting.
All persons must be respectful of others they may encounter on the property.
The grounds at Hope are uneven, steep, and rocky, and contain wooded nature trails with a natural pond. In addition, a man-made fishpond is near the main front entrance and a man-made fountain is in the Memorial Garden. Hope does not assume responsibility for any accidents or injuries incurred. Due to the inherent risks imposed by the terrain, water features, flora and fauna and some playground equipment on our grounds, all persons use them at their own risk. Children should not be allowed to roam the grounds unattended. Minors must be accompanied by parents or supervised by responsible adults at all times.
Pets must be controlled in accordance with the church’s pet policy. (See Board Policy “Animals on Hope Church Property”).
Limitations on Use
Unless authorized in advance by the Board of Trustees, prohibited activities shall include, but are not limited to the following:
- Possessing firearms.
- Campfires, fireworks, or other activities that could create a fire hazard. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas.
- Loud music, fireworks or other noise that could be disruptive to church operations, the surrounding neighbors or wildlife.
- Erecting tents or other temporary structures.
- Use of the property for business activities or official meetings without approval.
- Remaining on the property overnight.
- Routine or frequent use of the property by individuals or groups without approval.
This policy will primarily be implemented by posting it on the church website and by posting signs addressing the key elements of the policy at strategic points around the property to enhance public awareness of the policy and potential hazards.