Tools for Starting or Building Lake and River Associations

Minnesota Waters has useful guidebooks available to member lake/river associations to build their organizational capacity and prepare them to improve and protect our waters. Learn more about Minnesota Waters.

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District has an interactive displays and exhibits, educational resources, and much more available for you to check out. Please visit MCWD's Educational Tools page for more information or contact the Education and Engagement Coordinator.

All guidebooks can be found on the Minnesota Waters publications page.

Form a Lake or River Group This guidebook will provide the guidance and tools necessary to organize an effective lake or river group. Upon completion you will understand how to establish your new organization, where to look for resources, how to form community partnerships and how to begin setting goals for the protection or improvement of your lake or river.

Engaging New Members and Leaders This guidebook will help you discover strategies for recruiting members and fresh volunteers, as well as tools to promote and equip new leaders. The guide will also assist your group in creating an action plan to initiate and expand your member and leadership base.

Program Planning This guidebook will provide the tools for your lake or river group to develop program plans that help make your Association activities more effective. By the end of the guidebook you will have started a program plan that can guide your next shoreland restoration project, membership drive, fundraising event or any association activity with clear goals and connection to your mission.

Communicating Effectively This guidebook will walk you through the steps of conceptualizing and executing a clear message to a target audience with the goal of achieving a specific outcome. It will provide you with the tools to develop your association's message and communicate it effectively through multiple channels.

Other Resources and Links:

Minnesota DNR:

Division of Waters

Watershed Publications and Information

Stewardship in your backyard


Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

MN Board of Water and Soil Resources

Met Council Waters

Minnesota Waters

1000 Friends of MN

Clean Water Action

Ducks Unlimited

UMN Water Resources Center

UMN Extension Services

Minnesota Water Statues and Rules