Metal Detecting

Metal detecting is allowed in certain areas of our parks system. Those interested in metal detecting must obtain a metal detecting excavation permit. Permits may be issued under the approval of the Parks and Recreation Director. Permits are limited to a calendar year (i.e. a permit issued in March would expire on December 31). The use of metal detectors is limited to certain parks. Exceptions are allowed in restricted areas to find a specific lost item or to assist with official investigations and must be approved.

  • A Metal Detecting Excavation Permit is Free 

Permitted Sites for Metal Detecting

  • Dover Soccer Fields
  • Ewert Park
  • Garvin Park
  • Humphrey Park
  • Landreth Park
  • Leonard Park
  •  McClelland Park
  • McIndoe Park
  • Mineral Park
  •  Parr Hill Park
  • Schifferdecker Park

Metal Detectors Code of Ethics

  1. Respect the rights and properties of others.
  2. Observe all laws whether national, state or local.
  3. Aid law enforcement officials whenever possible.
  4. Never destroy priceless historical or archaeological treasures.
  5. Leave land and vegetation as it was.
  6. Remove all trash and litter when you leave.
  7. All treasure hunters may be judged by the example you set.
  8. Always conduct yourself with courtesy and consideration of others.

Metal Detecting Guidelines

  1. Use of metal detectors is limited to developed parks that do not contain any designated archeological sites or are not designated Natural Areas. Certain parks, in their entirety, are off limits. This list may be amended at any time by the Director of Parks and Recreation.
  2. Probing or digging is strictly prohibited within 25 feet of a tree or within the drip line of the tree, whichever is greater, and in the following areas: ball-fields, manicured lawns, newly seeded lawns monuments, memorial tree plantings, tracks, golf course, cemeteries, flower beds/gardens, fenced areas that normally require a park permit for access, native vegetation areas, or any other area restricted by signage.
  3. A permit will be issued by the Director’s Office of the Parks and Recreation Department. Permits are limited to one year.  So, if you receive a permit in March then it runs to December in that calendar year.
  4. Metal detecting activities shall in no way interfere with the intended use of the public property or facilities. Metal detecting in a permitted special event zone is prohibited unless authorized by the event coordinator.
  5. The Director of Parks and Recreation may approve use of a metal detector in areas where their use is normally prohibited, only upon special arrangement, in cases when a specific item is lost or to assist with official investigations.
  6. A metal detector permit does not reserve a park area. Activities may not occur in areas where someone holds a park reservation permit or during a special event in the park.
  7. Metal detecting and related excavations are not authorized on partnership (leased) properties except at the discretion of the property operator.  Approval should be requested from the principal agent of said property.
  8. Metal detecting in large groups is discouraged, especially at neighborhood parks due to the limited size and availability of resources.
  9. All articles of apparent historical significance shall be reported to the Parks and Recreation Department. When in doubt, the permittee shall assume the item has historical significance.
  10. Applicant shall restore any disturbed area to its original condition by removing all evidence of digging and/or probing. All trash, litter or debris uncovered must be removed and placed in an approved trash receptacle.
  11. Applicant shall use only hand tools that can be used one-handed for Metal Detecting. Hand tools shall be limited to 4 inches wide and 12 inches long. Holes shall be no more than six inches in depth and holes should be filled immediately. The cutting of vegetation is prohibited.
  12. The City of Joplin makes no claims regarding the safety of metal detecting related to excavation activities. The permittee is responsible for ascertaining that excavations will not in any way interfere with buried utilities and shall be responsible for any damage caused by excavation activities.
  13. The permittee shall indemnify the City and its elected officials, employees and volunteers against, and hold City and its elected officials, employees and volunteers harmless from all damages, claims, losses, costs and expenses, including attorney fees, which City or its elected officials, employees or volunteers, arising out of this permit or the permitted activities or the condition of the facilities used for permitted activities without limitation, harm or personal injury to the permittee or third person during and related to the permitted activities.
  14. The City of Joplin reserves the right to revoke or amend this permit at any time. It shall be the permittee’s responsibility to maintain a current permit.  
  15. Persons engaging in metal detecting excavation activities must have this permit with them or in their vehicle and their actions must demonstrate that they have a complete understanding of the permit guidelines. Permit holder must always have their photo identification.  No excavation, other than that related to metal detecting activities, is authorized by this permit.

A Metal Detecting Excavation Permit is Free and may be printed from the link below: