A note from our President

FOLFAN (Friends of Lakes Folsom and Natoma) is now in its 13th year as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and as the Cooperating Association for the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

So what is a Cooperating Association? Often known as interpretive associations, natural history associations or park conservancies, they are nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting the interpretive, educational, conservation and recreational programs and services of national parks and many state parks. But each Cooperating Association is a little different. Some focus on building volunteer capacity. Some focus on fundraising or land acquisition. Some focus on interpretation and education. Some manage gift shops, museums or concessions. A few even manage their own parks.

So what does FOLFAN do? Our mission is "enhancing education and recreation opportunities for the public and protecting the wonders and resources of Lakes Folsom and Natoma." Although our mission statement doesn't specifically say "Folsom Lake State Recreation Area," our mission is, in fact, all about supporting our local state park. A 20,000 acre park with well over 2 million annual visitors, 100 miles of shoreline and 100 miles of trails. The park includes Folsom Lake, Lake Natoma, and a portion of the American River Parkway.

I have been FOLFAN's President and General Manager since 2019. I was not one of the founders of FOLFAN; I came along when FOLFAN was already a few years old. I recall my wife reading an article in the Sacramento Bee newspaper about a new nonprofit organization with a funny name, functioning as the Cooperating Association for the state park that we visited and enjoyed almost every day. As a former park ranger, naturalist, and Folsom resident, I knew FOLFAN would be a good fit for my volunteer interests.

-Jim Cassio