The Corps of Engineers manages hundreds of the most cherished lakes and rivers in America, and the associated recreation has a considerable economic impact. Local cooperating associations — “friend’s groups” — are champions of these local recreational areas and play a significant role in helping the Corps provide improved services while strengthening local economies and elevating people’s lives.

These friends groups involve the community by providing financial support and hundreds of volunteer hours. That’s good for everyone, especially when the alternative may require closing parks due to shrinking budgets.

The Corps Foundation supports friends groups in a variety of ways: by contributing to each organization’s mission and increasing capacity through funding research; by serving as a catalyst, a resource and a national umbrella for friends of local Corps Lakes projects. The Foundation can also help start, grow and improve the operations of these groups with direct support and coaching.

Grant Program Support

The Corps Foundation is committed to facilitating local involvement and encouraging grassroots participation in the stewardship of our Corps Lakes. The Foundation also provides consulting and grant support for friends groups to increase the flow of philanthropic dollars to their projects. Please contact us to learn more about this program.

Please begin our conversation by telling us about your Project and how we can contact you.

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Since our inception the Corps Foundation has made it a priority to network with the cooperating associations, friends groups, and partners that support U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) sites around the country – and to explore ways to support and expand these valuable partnerships. This Toolkit is developed as a reference for these organizations to help clarify the requirements and benefits of developing a cooperating association partnership with USACE. Additionally, the Toolkit provides a useful reference for Corps of Engineers staff working with interested groups in forming, supporting and maintaining a strong cooperating association program.

It is our hope that the Toolkit will provide a valuable reference guide for those who wish to support the growth and development of local friends groups and cooperating associations. Please feel free to widely distribute the Toolkit to anyone you think may have an interest in forming a non-profit organization to support the project sites and natural resource management program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.