Photo / Film Events

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Special Event Policy and Fee Schedule

To apply for a Special Event Permit, please complete and submit the application form. All fees described in this policy will be paid to Olivenhain Municipal Water District, who maintains and operates the 748-acre reserve.

Each event organizer for any event included in this policy must obtain a $1 million per incident and $2 million aggregate commercial general liability insurance policy naming Olivenhain Municipal Water District as an additional insured. If alcohol is to be included as part of an event, the insurance policy must include Liquor Liability Coverage.

Photo / Film Events

The Reserve offers a variety of scenery for still photographers and filmmakers for backdrops and film footage. OMWD appreciates the beauty and diversity of its facilities and encourages the use of the Reserve for photo and film opportunities, while maintaining the integrity of the environment and the enjoyment of its visitors.

OMWD reserves the right to reject permit applications for photo/film shoots that contain subject matter that OMWD, in its sole discretion, determines is inappropriate.

Reservation procedures and fees for using the Reserve are outlined below:

  • A minimum of a $1,000,000 insurance policy naming Olivenhain Municipal   Water District is required.
  • Requests for photo/film permits may be made by completing the Special Event Permit Application and faxing it to OMWD at 760-753-1578 or emailing it to  Please allow a minimum of 72 hours (not including weekends and holidays) processing time prior to scheduled film/photo shoot.
  • A walk-through may also be required with OMWD ranger staff to determine the location, if the facility can accommodate the requested use, and if staff film monitors will be required. Film monitors and/or additional ranger staff is at the expense of the filmmaker/photographer and will be collected by OMWD.
  • Any special requests/needs will be handled on an individual basis at the time of the application.
  • The Reserve is open from 8:00 a.m. until sunset. Requests for early entry or late stay will result in additional charges.
  • Because weekends and holidays are generally the busiest times at the Reserve, all filming activities (including preparation/setup) are only permitted to take place Monday through Friday during Reserve hours.
  • Photography activities on weekends and holidays are permitted on a case-by-case basis.


  • Fees for still photography shoots are $50 per hour, $200 for a half-day, and $400 for a whole day.
  • Fees for film/video shoots are $100 per hour, $400 for a half-day, and $800 for a whole day.
  • Fee for using the Reserve as a production base is $500 per day. An additional $50 catering fee will apply if a caterer is present.
  • Total payment for the permit is due prior to the shoot.

For additional information or questions, please call OMWD ranger staff at 760-632-4212.


Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

8833 Harmony Grove Road
Escondido, CA 92029

Mailing Address
1966 Olivenhain Road
Encinitas, CA 92024


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