Cascade Township Adopts Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan

Road Map for Parks, Pathways and Green Spaces Will Enable Township to Keep Up With Community’s Changing Needs
Cascade Township, Michigan, Dec. 15, 2022 – The Cascade Township Board on Wednesday approved a five-year parks and recreation master plan that outlines a blueprint for parks, pathways and green spaces in the township.
The master plan provides goals, objectives and action items for the next five years to help improve parks and recreation in Cascade Township and is the result of input from residents and other stakeholders. During the planning process, community stakeholders indicated their top priorities included maintaining existing parks and pathways, expanding the pathway system and developing new parks and facilities.
“Cascade residents overwhelmingly support more parks and recreational opportunities as well as the preservation of our green space and natural beauty,” Cascade Township Supervisor Grace Lesperance said. “This plan is a significant step forward. By comprehensively addressing all aspects of our parks, recreation and green space resources and goals, we created an action plan that enhances the broader effort to preserve Cascade's unique character.
“I want to thank all of the residents who provided fantastic feedback as well as our Parks Committee and Township staff for their hard work during the master plan process. This truly was a community effort.”
The master plan’s goals include:    
  • Ensure existing parks and pathways meet the needs of the community they serve. 
  • Identify and create future pathway routes connecting to neighboring communities, regional trail systems and existing community amenities and neighborhoods.
  • Refine the Township’s parks organization structure and support. 
  • Identify and implement appropriate funding mechanisms to acquire property, improve and maintain parks, add amenities and hire staff to support the parks and pathways system. 
  • Preserve natural resources and open space within the township.  
  • Collaborate as appropriate to develop a central, green gathering space integrated with the downtown village development as outlined in the Cascade Township strategic plan
  • Identify space for new community parks, recreation and open space to serve the growing population and preserve natural features and character of the township. 
  • Increase public awareness and use of parks, programs and facilities. 
  • Develop parks programming to provide greater opportunities for recreation, education and experiencing nature. 
The Township Board held a public hearing during Wednesday’s meeting before it considered the parks and recreation master plan’s adoption.
The public hearing and vote followed a yearlong planning process that was led by Township staff and Cascade’s Parks Committee and featured robust community engagement, including a survey that received nearly 1,000 responses. The Township accepted community feedback on the draft plan this fall over a 30-day period, which included an open house for residents to review the plan and provide input on it.
In December 2021, Township staff and the Parks Committee partnered with local design and engineering firm Troyer Group to help develop the parks and recreation master plan. In August 2021, the project group collected community input through the survey and open house.  
For more on the parks and recreation master plan, click here.  

About Cascade Township 

Home to nearly 20,000 residents, Cascade Township is committed to serving the public by providing the finest community services possible with respect, efficiency and integrity. With the Thornapple River at its heart, Cascade Township is recognized as an excellent place to live, work, play and raise a family. For more information, visit  

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