Forming and Managing a Lake Association
What is a Lake Association?
In New York, the phrase "lake association" can mean many different things. There are large, incorporated associations such as the Lake George Association and small associations like the Butterfield Lake Cottage Owners Association. What is common to all these groups is a desire to bond people together who share the use of a lake.
Forming a Lake Association
There are many good guides to forming lake associations that have been developed in other states, and we won't "reinvent the wheel" on this page.
NH Department of Environmental Services: Give Your Lake a Voice: Create a Lake Association- http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/wmb/documents/wmb-20.pdf
Minnesota Shoreland Management Resource Guide: Organizing a Lake Association-http://www.shorelandmanagement.org/quick/ol.html
Washington State Department of Ecology: How to Form a Lake Association - http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/plants/lakes/LakeAssociation.html
Wisconsin Lakes: Starting a Lake Group - http://www.wisconsinlakes.org/index.php/starting-a-lake-group
If you can find a copy of this now out-of-print book, it is a very good reference:
Flock, G., J. Taggart, and H. Olem. 1991. Organizing Lake Users: A Practical Guide. Terrene Institute, Washington, DC.
A nice model from Wisconsin: http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/UWEXLakes/Documents/organizations/Lake%20Districts/AppendixA-Model_bylaws.pdf
And some from NY:
Lake Bonaparte Conservation Club - http://lakebonaparte.mylaketown.com/By-Laws
East Shore Schroon Lake Association - http://essla.org/about-2/initial-bylaws/
Melody Lake Association - http://www.stny.info/melodylake/MLA-ByLaws-September-2011.html
Three Lakes Council - http://threelakescouncil.org/AboutUs/Bylaws/tabid/62/Default.aspx
You can find more by going to "About NYSFOLA Members" (under the Membership tab on the home page) and linking directly to member associations' web pages.
Incorporating and Insuring a Lake Association
Many, but not all, New York lake associations have incorporated with 501(c)3 not-for-profit status http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/forming-nonprofit-corporation-new-york. You may want to hire an attorney to guide you through the legal steps of the process.
We now refer you to Appendix D of "Diet for a Small Lake: The Expanded Guide to New York State Lake and Watershed Management 2nd Edition" for more information on this topic: