Community Programs

The Township has many programs to benefit the community.

Environmental Programs        Social Programs        Events
Garlic Mustard Drop Off   Public Transportation   Memorial Day Program 
Spongy (formerly Gypsy) Moth Spraying   Toys for Tots                     Fourth of July Celebration 
Christmas Tree Recycling       Metro Cruise Warm Up
Household Hazardous Waste Disposal       Cascade Heritage Festival
Oak Wilt        
West Nile Virus        
Yard Waste Pick Up/Clean Up Day        


                                                   
                  




 

 


Bagged Garlic Mustard Drop Off

2023 Dates TBD

A collection dumpster for garlic mustard will be available (TBD for 2023)
 in the back of the Cascade Township Fire Department (2865 Thornhills Avenue, SE Grand Rapids MI 49546).

Residents are needed to volunteer for a garlic mustard pull at two different Cascade Township locations:

  • 2023 TBD at Burton Park, 6805 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.  Meet at the Maintenance building and parking will be available behind the building.
  • 2023 TBD at the Cascade Township Cemetery, 7200 30th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508.  Meet and park back by the maintenance garage but don’t block traffic.

Grab some gloves and join in these community volunteer events.
 

Soon it Will Be Garlic Mustard Season

 
Garlic mustard is a highly invasive plant that stays green all year long.  It has the odor of garlic when crushed.  The young rosette (cluster of leaves) grows close to the ground.  The adult plants grow upright with a white, four-petal flower at the end of the stalk.
 
Impacts:

  • Out competes or prevents native plants and trees from growing.
  • One plant can produce more than 3,000 seed.
  • Seeds can remain viable in the soil for ten years or more.
Prevent Future Spread:
  • Monitor your property carefully and frequently for new infestations.  (Removing one or two plants before they go to seed is much easier than removing hundreds of plants later.)
  • Clean shoes, plant cuffs, and equipment thoroughly after walking or working in an infested area.
Suggested Control:
Hand removal is best achieved before the plant has gone to seed.  When soil is moist, grasp low and firmly on the plant.  Tug gently until the main root loosens and the ENTIRE plant pulls out.
 
Pulled plants should be bagged and placed in regular trash.  DO NOT COMPOST!

 

Spongy Moth Spraying (formerly Gypsy Moth)

May 24, 2022 - Weather conditions were ideal yesterday for spraying.  Due to this, this season’s aerial spongy moth treatments have been completed.  

May 19, 2022 - Aerial spraying in the West Michigan area for the spongy moth is scheduled for Monday, May 23, weather permitting. There will be 2-3 helicopters spraying various areas in West Michigan during that time, so it will be difficult to say exactly which blocks will be sprayed at a given time. The applicators usually start around 7am, and will stop for the day when/if the weather conditions become unsatisfactory (high wind, possible rain, low humidity). 

May 18, 2022 - We are starting to see some spongy moth caterpillar feeding in several areas, and all of the caterpillars have left the egg masses (means they’re getting ready to start feeding). We are also seeing substantial leaf development of the red oaks and some in the white oaks as well. Though weather dependent, spraying may take place as early as Thursday, May 19th, but could be scheduled for Friday, May 20 or Monday, May 23 as well.

The Entomological Society of  America has recently changed the official common name of Lymantria Dispar from "gypsy moth" to "spongy moth".  

Many Michigan residents have heard of the spongy moth, though they many not know what the insect looks like. Spongy moth is a notorious pest that feeds on the leaves of oaks, aspen and many other species of shade and forest trees.

PDF IconSpongy Moth Spraying Program Map


Click here for Interactive Map (Use the Parcel Search option on the right side of the map)
Gypsy Moth
For many years, Cascade Township has participated in a local program to spray for spongy moths caterpillars, and plans are underway to once again spray for these potentially devastating pests. The 2022 spray program actually began last fall, when the township hired a firm to survey the Township for spongy moth egg masses. This process allows us to limit the spray areas to those places most likely to see an infestation (see map to view spray area). This year, the Township will be spraying 431 acres.

In order to treat the spongy moth, the designated areas will be sprayed with a non-toxic biological agent called Bacillus thuringiensis or “Bt.” Below are some frequently asked questions about spongy moth caterpillars and the treatment program.

What does a spongy moth caterpillar look like?

Spongy moth caterpillars are typically around two inches in length, and can be identified by their distinctive markings. They typically have a yellow head with black markings, followed by prominent blue and red spots along the length of their body. They can be found in over 250 species of trees, though they are especially found where Oak trees are abundant, and they do not spin silk tents, unlike the native and relatively harmless Eastern Tent Caterpillar

How does “Bt” affect the spongy moth caterpillars?

“Bt” is a naturally occurring bacterium common in soils throughout the world. When a spongy moth caterpillar eats leaves sprayed with “Bt” the bacterium produces a protein that reacts with the cells of the digestive tract lining of the spongy moth caterpillar. The “Bt” proteins essentially paralyze the digestive track of the caterpillars, which will then cause them to stop feeding and eventually kill them. The spongy moth caterpillars will typically die en masse two to three days after spraying occurs.

Is “Bt” dangerous to people, pets, wildlife or other beneficial insects?

The primary benefit to the use of “Bt” in controlling the spongy moth population is that it is naturally occurring bacterial disease of insects and is non-toxic and safe for people, pets and wildlife, and some formulations can be used on essentially all food crops. Additionally, unlike most insecticides, “Bt” does not have a broad spectrum of activity, so they do not kill beneficial insects including natural enemies of insects (predators and parasites) as well as beneficial pollinators, such as honeybees.

For 2022, it is anticipated that the spongy moth caterpillar spraying program will take place over the course of a week (or less). We will post the date when it is finalized. The application is done by helicopter, and typically takes one day to complete. Residents who reside within the spray zones will be receiving direct notification of the program through the mail.

Remember, the spongy moth does its damage during the caterpillar stage, which is during mid-May to mid-June. If your trees are being defoliated later in the summer, it's caused by something other than spongy moths.

Residents in spray areas need not remain indoors while spraying is underway and can safely go about their regular daily activities. As "B.t." is released into the air, it will descend upon trees and grounds in a light mist which will be barely discernible. Residents can expect to find dead caterpillar larvae in and around their yards upon completion of the insecticide application.

Additional Information
PDF Icon 2022 Homeowner Notification Letter
PDF Icon 2022 Recommended Spongy Moth Spray Report
PDF Icon 2022 Spray Drift Management Plan
PDF Icon Additional Information on Spongy Moths
PDF Icon Additional Information on Bacillus Thuringiensis

 

Christmas Tree Recycling

Christmas TreeDumpsters will be available behind the Buttrick Fire Station (Buttrick & 30th Street) to deposit your Christmas trees from December 26th to January 17th for recycling. Please remember to remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel & tree stands.








 

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal

 
Due to the expansion of hours of operation at their SafeChem Drop-off locations, Kent County DPW is no longer hosting on-site community hazardous waste disposal programs.

To learn more about the hazardous waste disposal program at Kent County DPW, including hours of operation at their 5 Kent County drop-off sites, please visit their webpage at www.reimaginetrash.org/safehomes/safechem 

MORE INFORMATION:  Please call Kent County Department of Public Works for additional information or for directions on large loads (greater than 6 boxes), items larger than a 5-gallon bucket. They can be reached at 616-632-7941 or at safehomes@kentcountymi.gov.

 

Oak Wilt

Two Oak Wilt Sites Confirmed at Burton Park
 
Cascade Burton Park has two confirmed sites of oak wilt, a lethal disease that kills red oaks within six to eight weeks of infection. There’s no cure for oak wilt once a red oak is infected. 
 
Want to help us identify infected red oaks? Here’s what to look for: Red oaks that suddenly drop their leaves in July through September, making it look like fall in the summer.
 
What can you do to prevent oak wilt? 
  • Don’t prune or wound oak trees during the growing season, which is April through September. 
  • Immediately use clear shellac to seal any wounds created during this time. 
  • Don’t move infected wood.   
The main goal is to prevent oak wilt at Cascade Burton Park from killing additional red oak trees in the park and adjacent neighborhoods. In order to achieve this goal, an oak wilt management plan has been created by our state-qualified oak wilt consultant, Julie Stachecki.

The oak wilt management plan includes:
  • Trenching to disconnect infected red oak roots from non-symptomatic red oak trees.
  • Tree removal and appropriate disposal of infected wood.
  • Stump treatment with herbicide.
  • Monitoring.
This plan strives to remove as few trees as possible in the infected zone. There are non-symptomatic red oak trees in the infected zone, so infected trees will be removed to contain the disease. The infected red oaks will be cut down, chipped and removed from the site.
Treatment and trenching have taken place this winter, and removal of the red oak trees in the infected zone at the two sites will take place in November. Watch for updated signage at the two sites.  
  
For more information about oak wilt, visit michiganoakwilt.org. For questions, leave a message for Cascade Parks Committee Chair Ginny Wanty at 616.949.1500. 

 

West Nile Virus

What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?

MosquitoMost people who get West Nile virus will not have any symptoms – they won’t even know they have it. Some people may get sick 3 to 14 days after a bite from a mosquito carrying the virus. A small number of people who get West Nile virus will get a mild illness with fever, head and body aches, and sometimes a skin rash and swollen glands. There are no known long-term effects from a mild illness.

West Nile virus can cause severe illness known as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis. Symptoms include headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, muscle weakness, coma, and convulsions. A small number of these illnesses have been deadly. But, people do not often get severe West Nile illness. Less than 1% of the people who get West Nile virus will develop a severe illness.

If you think you or any of your family members have any symptoms of West Nile virus you should talk to your doctor. If you have any symptoms like fever, confusion, muscle weakness and severe headaches, you should see your doctor right away.

How can I prevent West Nile virus?

Try to get fewer mosquito bites:

Wear bug spray, lotion or gel with DEET (N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) when you go outdoors. Common bug sprays, lotions and gels with DEET include Off, DEET, Cutter, etc. The more DEET in a spray, lotion or gel, the longer it works. Higher levels of DEET do not work better. Sprays, lotions and gels with 10-35% DEET will do a good job for adults. But for children, only use products with 10% or less of DEET.

When using bug sprays, lotions or gels follow these instructions:

Always follow the directions on the product label.

Only use on exposed skin. Do not use under clothing.

Do not use on cuts or sores.

Do not use on the eyes and mouth and do not spray on the face. Spray on hands first and then rub hands over your face.

When using on children, put repellent on your hands first and then use your hands to put it on the child. Never use on children’s hands because they often put their hands in their mouths.

After coming inside, wash skin with soap and water or bathe.

When you can, wear clothes that cover the skin like long sleeves, long pants and socks while outdoors. You can also spray your clothing with bug spray since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing.

Wear light-colored clothing since mosquitoes like dark colors.

Put mosquito netting over infant carriers and strollers when infants are outdoors.

Do not wear strong smelling perfumes or use strong smelling shampoos and hair sprays because mosquitoes like strong smells.

You may want to stay indoors at dawn, dusk and during the early evening. These are the times when mosquitoes are most likely to bite you. Also, try to stay away from activities in areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes.

Make sure that your window and door screens do not have any holes where mosquitoes can get in to the house. If you do not have screens, get them.

Mosquitoes can follow people into buildings or come in on pets so make sure your pets are free of mosquitoes when letting them into the house.

Try to lower the number of mosquito breeding areas around your home:

Keep your lawn and shrubs cut.

Change the water in your bird bath twice a week.

Empty and clean children’s wading pools a couple times a week.

Empty and refill pet water bowls every day.

Cover trash bins to keep them from filling with water.

Get rid of things in your yard that can collect water (like jars, bottles, old tires, etc.).

Clean leaves and sticks out of eaves troughs/rain gutters and check them often.

Store boats and canoes upside down so they do not collect and hold rain water.

Drain or fill any low areas in your yard where water stands for five or more days.

Who do I call regarding dead or dying birds?

Call the Kent County Health Department at (616) 336-3030 if you see any dead or dying birds. Do not touch the birds, or any dead animal with your bare hands. Use gloves or an inside-out plastic bag to pick the animal up to put in the trash. Do not bring any dead birds or other dead animals to the health department.

For more information call (616) 336-3030.
 

West Nile Virus Prevention Initiative

Mosquito Control Around Your Home

Michigan is blessed with over 50 species of mosquitoes. These can be categorized into two basic groups based on their breeding habits. The first group might be termed spring mosquitoes. Spring mosquitoes produce a single generation of adults each year. Their larvae develop in "spring pools" in low-lying areas that hold water from snowmelt and spring rains.

The other group of mosquitoes, called summer mosquitoes, will produce generation after generation of mosquitoes during the summer as long as there is standing water available.

Reducing mosquito bites still revolves around the use of repellents, loose fitting clothing, tight fitting window screens, and yard sprays with malathion, permethrin or cyfluthrin, and simply staying indoors during peak mosquito times. There are several over the counter products you can purchase at your neighborhood lawn and garden store or hardware store that contain these active ingredients. Bonide Mosquito Beater, Cutter - Bug Free and Ortho Mosquito-B-Gone are just a few.

There are several new products available on the market, though some are quite expensive, that claim to rid yards of mosquitoes. While its true that these mosquito traps do catch mosquitoes, they appear not to catch all species of mosquitoes equally. Mosquito traps currently on the market include: Mosquito Magnet, SkeeterVac and Mosquito Deleto.

Cascade Charter Township is actively installing a mosquito larvacide in public storm drain catch basins within the township. The product being used is supposed to last about 90 days and is designed to kill mosquito larva before they reach their adult form.

The program is a proactive and precautionary measure to deal with the transport of West Nile Virus. In urbanized areas, catch basin sumps serve as a primary breeding ground for mosquitoes. It is the intent of the program to target these areas.

If you live on a private street, the catch basins will not be treated by Cascade Charter Township. However, if you would like your basins treated please have your association or owner contact Sandra Korhorn at (616) 949-1500.

Unlike conventional pesticides, each ALTOSID formulation contains methoprene, an insect growth regulator (IGR) that stops mosquitoes from becoming breeding, biting adults. Methoprene is target-specific, and will not affect fish, waterfowl, mammals or beneficial predatory insects.
 

Related Links

Kent County
State of Michigan


 

Yard Waste Pick Up/Clean Up Day

Wheel barrelThe Township will once again offer bagged yard-waste pick-up in the restricted burn area. This is generally the area west of Buttrick and north of I-96. Tags are available at the reception desk at Township Hall Monday – Friday from 8 am to 5pm (limit 20).

Pick-up will be every Monday from October 17 – November 28.

  • Please have your yard waste near the curb by Sunday at Midnight.
  • Place an orange tag on each bag of leaves or bundle of branches. (No grass clippings, dirt, sod, cement, sand or rocks please).  
  • Bags can weigh no more the 30 pounds.
  • Sticks should be no longer than four feet in length and branches, logs and stumps are not to exceed one inch in diameter.
  • If you have orange tags from last year you plan on using, please call 949-1500 to add your address to the fall 2022 list.
  • This service is only available in the restricted burn area. To review the restricted burn area map, visit cascadetwp.com and click “Maps” under “Reference Desk”

The Township will have dumpsters for yard waste disposal available again this fall from October 8 – November 28th. Due to the construction of the new Fire Station at 2865 Thornhills, the dumpsters will be located behind the Fire Station #2 building (2990 Buttrick Ave SE.) Please note that the dumpsters are top load, and material will have to be carried up a small set of stairs to be dumped. Employees are not available to help dump.

CASCADE CLEAN-UP DAY
 
Cascade will hold it’s bi-annual clean-up day again this fall! Cascade Township residents are invited to drop off non-hazardous household waste at Ada Bible Church (8899 Cascade Road SE) on Saturday October 22nd from 8am until noon. Gates will close sharply at noon, so make sure to come early!

Please note:

  • Residents should enter the Ada Bible Church parking lot utilizing the Cascade Road entrance and exit the site using the Quiggle Road exit. Please follow the signage on site.
  • Non-hazardous household waste only, such as appliances, scrap metal, electronics for recycling and paper for shredding.
  • No yard waste. You will need to use the yard-waste dumpsters, the leaf bag pick-up program or other services for yard waste such as leaves, branches and brush
  • No hazardous materials will be allowed. Paint cans that are opened and dried are allowed. Please visit Kent County Department of Public Works for information on hazardous waste disposal resources.
  • Identification is required to verify your residency within Cascade Township.
Services on Site:
 
  • Arrowaste Services will be available for general trash and junk, large and small appliances and scrap metal. No yard waste or hazardous waste.
  • Shred-it will be available for shredding of up to 100 pounds of office paper and personal documents
  • Valley City Electronic Recycling will be available for computers, televisions, small appliances, cell phones, household batteries and other electronics.
  • Salvation Army will be on-site to collect gently used household goods.  Our Salvation Army Acceptance Guide explains which items they are able to accept. 

All Services subject to availability. Please check the Township website at cascadetwp.com close to the day to ensure the service you wish to utilize is available. For questions, please call Cascade Township at 616-949-1500.


Public Transportation

Ride The Rapid

The bus route extends bus service on 28th Street east to the Cascade Rd, around Old 28th Street and heads west down 28th Street to Patterson Ave. 

Please click here for more information on schedules, routes, fares, etc.

GO!Bus
In addition to the fixed route bus service, any Cascade Township senior 65 and over or persons with disabilities residing within 3/4 mile of the bus route is eligible for GO!Bus services. GO! Bus provides door-to-door transportation services by appointment. A one-time application must be filed prior to making an appointment.

Discounted tickets are available to Cascade residents at the Township office to those who use the GO!Bus.

Please click here for more information on the GO!Bus

Please click here for the GO!Bus service map

Hope Network
Any Cascade Township senior 65 and over or persons with disabilities, living more than 3/4 mile from the bus route, has transportation available through Hope Network. Cascade Township subsidizes this service with Community Development Block Grant and General Fund money.

Hope Network Customer Care Center - 616-243-0876.

Please click here for more information on Hope Network

 

Toys for Tots Program


The Cascade Township Fire Department will be accepting new, unwrapped toys for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Starting Monday, Nov. 7th through Monday, Dec. 5th, 2022 Toys may be dropped off at Cascade Township Hall, 5920 Tahoe Drive SE. 8a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Memorial Day Program

Cascade Township Memorial Day Ceremony
2023 Date TBD


Join us for our annual Memorial Day ceremony as we honor and remember those who have died in service to our country.

This special community event will be (2023 Date TBD) outside at Kent District Library – Cascade Township Branch, 2870 Jacksmith Ave. SE.
 
Event Program
Event Speaker - Anthony Torres Bio


Cascade Township – July Fourth Celebration 

2023 Info TBD

2022 July Fourth Celebration 


The 4th of July Celebration is back on!  Join us Monday, July 4th to celebrate our country, our freedom and best of all, our community.

Time to Celebrate 
 
A bike parade will kick off the Cascade Township July 4th Celebration at 10 a.m. Monday, July 4. Decorate anything that moves – bikes, wagons, strollers, scooters and more – and meet us at 8:30 a.m. at Cascade Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, 6655 Cascade Road SE.
 
Bike parade participants 14 and younger must wear a bike helmet per Cascade Township ordinance.
 
The famous community parade will immediately follow the bike parade and includes vehicles, floats, fire trucks and a community march.  Participants are asked to meet at the parade and march staging area at 8:30 a.m. at Thornapple Covenant Church, 6595 Cascade Road SE.
 
Portions of the roads along the parade route and all of Old 28th Street will be closed 9:30 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m. These sections are Cascade Road from Burton Street to Thornapple River Drive and 28th Street from Cascade to Thornhills. 
 
Games, carnival rides and music by Signal Point Band will begin at 11:30 a.m. Be sure to check out the giant book sale hosted by Friends of the Cascade Library 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be over 20,000 sorted books offered in all categories and at amazing prices worth celebrating, including bag sales and further price reductions beginning at 1 p.m.  All proceeds from the sale benefit the Cascade library and additional literacy programs across the KDL system.
 
Join us at dusk as we celebrate Independence Day with a bang. Watch the fireworks in Ada from any location in downtown Ada or at Legacy Park, 7430 River St. SE.
 
July 4th Parade Float Contest 
 
Cascade Township will again hold a July 4th parade float contest, challenging residents, neighborhoods, faith groups and businesses to come up with unique and fun floats. Get creative and grab streamers, balloons, flags, crepe paper, ribbons and anything else festive. 
 
This year’s float contest will offer two categories: 
  • Families and neighborhoods 
  • Faith groups, businesses and other organizations 
 
Meet us at 8:30 a.m. Monday, July 4 at Thornapple Covenant Church, 6595 Cascade Road SE, for judging based on spirit and creativity. No sign-ups are necessary. 
 
Winners in each category will receive a trophy and get to put the “winner” banner on their float during the parade. Winners will also receive recognition on the Township’s Facebook page and in its fall newsletter.
 
One float or vehicle per family, organization or neighborhood. Please note candy throwing from floats and vehicles is not allowed. Anything handed out must be done by walkers. 
 
Fireworks Reminder 
 
If you plan to set off fireworks for the Fourth of July holiday, please inform your neighbors. Military veterans, young children and pets may be negatively impacted by fireworks.  Please be conscious of creating fire hazards for your neighbors and of the Township noise ordinance. Remember: It’s illegal to ignite fireworks on public property.
 

 
 PDF Icon 4th of July Flyer

PDF Icon4th of July Participants Policy

PDF Icon4th of July Non Profit Participation Application
 

4th of July Fire Truck 4th of July Motorcycle
4th of July Parade 4th of July children
4th of July Horses 4th of July Parade street


 

Cascade's Metro Cruise Warm Up

Join us for the Cascade Metro Cruise Warmup
2023 Date TBD at the Thornapple Centre,  6797 Cascade Rd. (Fowling Warehouse GR parking lot). 
 
Music by The Soul Syndicate, Food Trucks, Face painting and Balloon Sculpting for the kids, Lots of Show Cars   

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office will auction off an opportunity to participate in a training session with its K-9 Unit.  

 


Metro Cruise Automobiles

 

Cascade Heritage Festival - 2022

Festival-Twitter-(4).jpg

Join us 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 for Cascade Heritage Festival, a community event for all ages. This year’s event will be held outside at Cascade Christian Church, 2829 Thornapple River Drive SE.
 
The event will include a beer tent, food trucks, cornhole tournament and live music. Additionally, the Cascade Museum will be open 5-7 p.m. for attendees to learn about Cascade’s unique and rich history.
 
There will be a variety of tasty meals from local food trucks, including Saladino Smoke, Wildwood Farms Taco Truck and Wags Dogs. Attendees can cool off with beer, cider and soft drinks from Bell’s, Founders, Vandermill’s Cider, Painted Turtle Cider and Thornapple Brewing Co. Food and beverages are cash-only.
 
Throughout the evening, local musician Greg Hudkins will perform hits from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The music is free to enjoy. Please bring chairs.

Parking is available on Orange Avenue and Hurley Street.
 
Cornhole Tournament
 
The cornhole tournament will begin at 5 p.m. and feature one all-ages division. The cost is $30 per team and includes two Heritage tokens per player. Ten percent of proceeds from the tournament will benefit the McDonald-Osmer American Legion Post. The prizes are $300 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place. Registration and check-in for the tournament will take place 4-5 p.m.

 To learn more about the event and how to register for the cornhole tournament, click here.