Cooperative Management of Corps Parks with a Cooperating Association
Declining budgets and a growing demand for safe and updated recreation opportunities have provided Corps projects an opportunity to partner with cooperating associations to share management responsibilities. The Corps can benefit by sharing the management responsibility (costs) of parks and other public areas.
Corps facilities may be operated in collaboration with cooperating associations through a cooperative agreement and appropriate real estate lease. Agreements may be entered into with a cooperating association for the purposes of managing public recreation areas, and fees may be collected. The Corps may retain operation and maintenance responsibilities on an area outgranted to a cooperating association, as long as the responsibilities are explicitly defined in the real estate agreement.
Key Factors in Cooperative Management:
- Corps facilities may be operated in collaboration with cooperating associations through a cooperative agreement AND an appropriate real estate lease.
- Template cooperative agreement and standard lease documents are approved for use.
- Cooperating Associations can collect fees and keep ALL of them, but they have to use them for purposes on site. This can include their administration expenses.
- The Corps cannot have "constructive control" of the fees collected.
- Cooperative Associations cannot charge fees that are prohibited by law. They CAN charge use fees, but not entrance fees.
- If there is joint Cooperating Association/Corps O&M, the responsibilities shall be clearly spelled out in the lease.
- 06/03/11 SAD Memo: Approval for Deviation to Model Cooperating Association Lease
- Combined guidance on Cooperating Associations, Leases, and Cooperative Agreements
- 04/07/11 Leases and Cooperative Agreements with Cooperating Associations Follow-Up
- 03/15/11 Guidance Pertaining to Real Estate Instruments and Cooperative Agreements and Cooperating Associations Follow up to June 25, 2010 legal opinion
- 06/25/10 Leases and Cooperative Agreements with Cooperating Associations legal opinion
Approved Cooperative Agreements/Leases for Joint Management
- Baltimore District, Raystown Lake and Friends of Raystown Lake
- Fort Worth District and Our Lands and Waters Foundation
- Little Rock District, Table Rock Lake and Ozark Rivers Heritage Foundation
- Savannah District, J. Strom Thurmond Lake and Outdoor Recreation and Outreach, Inc
- Tulsa District, Keystone Lake and Friends of Lake Keystone
- Vicksburg District, Lake Ouachita and Friends of Lake Ouachita
Policy & Procedures
News / Current Issues
How to Partner with a Cooperation Association
Existing Corps Cooperating Associations
Cooperative Management of Corps Parks
Excellence in Partnerships Award
Division & District POCs