Community Programs

The Township has many programs to benefit the community.

Environmental Programs

Garlic Mustard Drop Off

Spongy (formerly Gypsy) Moth Spraying

Christmas Tree Recycling

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal

Oak Wilt

Fall Clean Up Day 

Yard Waste Pickup

Social Programs

Public Transportation

Toys for Tots


Bagged Garlic Mustard Drop Off

A collection dumpster for garlic mustard will be available Friday, May 6 through Tuesday, May 30, 2023 in the back of the Cascade Township Fire Station #2 (2990 Buttrick SE, Ada MI 49301).

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

  • Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 10:00-1:00 PM at Burton Park, 6805 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.  Meet at the Maintenance building and parking will be available behind the building.
  • Thursday, May 11, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm 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.

  • 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)

The Entomological Society of  America has recently changed the official common name of Lymantria Dispar from "gypsy moth" to "spongy moth".  Spraying for 2023 was completed the morning of Wednesday, May 17.

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 2023 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 498 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 2023, 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 2023 Homeowner Notification Letter
PDF Icon 2023 Recommended Spongy Moth Spray Report
PDF Icon 2023 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 its SafeChem drop-off locations, the Kent County Department of Public Works is no longer hosting on-site community hazardous waste disposal programs. Instead, Kent County offers five disposal sites with varied hours and days operation around the County. 

The nearest dropoff location to Cascade Township is in Kentwood at 5068 Breton SE. This location is open Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

To learn more about the hazardous waste disposal program at Kent County DPW, including hours of operation at their five Kent County drop-off sites, please visit their webpage at 

MORE INFORMATION:  Please call Kent County DPW  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

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 For questions, leave a message for Cascade Parks Committee Chair Ginny Wanty at 616.949.1500. 


Fall 2023 Clean Up Day

Wheel barrelThe biannual Cascade Cleanup Day returns Saturday, Oct. 21.

From 8 a.m.-noon, Cascade Township residents are invited to drop off nonhazardous household waste at Ada Bible Church, 8899 Cascade Road SE. Gates will close at noon, so get there early.

Please note
• This event is for nonhazardous household waste only, such as appliances, scrap metal, electronics for recycling and paper for shredding.

• No yard waste will be accepted. You will need to use the yard waste dumpsters, leaf bag pickup program or other services for yard waste such as leaves, branches and brush.

• No hazardous materials will be accepted. Paint cans that are opened and dried are allowed. Please see earlier in this article for information on hazardous waste disposal resources.

• Residents should enter the Ada Bible Church parking lot off Cascade Road and exit on Quiggle Road. Please follow the signage on site.

• Identification is required to verify your residency within Cascade Township.

Services on site
• Arrowaste Services will be on-site for general trash and junk, large and small appliances and scrap metal. No yard waste or hazardous waste will be accepted.

• Shred-It will be on site for shredding office paper and personal documents.

• Valley City Electronic Recycling will be on-site for computers, televisions, small appliances, cell phones, household batteries and other electronics. 

Fall 2023 yard waste disposal service info

The Township again this year will offer bagged yard waste pickup in the restricted burn area – generally the area west of Buttrick and north of I-96. Pickup will be every Monday from Oct. 16-Monday, Nov. 27. 

Tags are available at the reception desk 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at Cascade Township Hall, 5920 Tahoe Drive SE. Residents are limited to 20 tags.

Please note: 

• Place your yard waste near the curb by midnight each Sunday.

• Place an orange tag on each bag of leaves or bundle of branches. Only paper bags with orange tags will be picked up. No grass clippings, dirt, sod, cement, sand or rocks. Bags can weigh no more the 30 pounds.

• If you have orange tags from last year you plan to use, call 616.949.1500 to add your address to the fall 2023 list.

• Sticks should be no longer than 4 feet in length, and branches, logs and stumps are not to exceed 1 inch in diameter.

• This service is only available in the restricted burn area. To review the restricted burn area map, visit and click on “Maps” under “Reference Desk.”

Yard Waste Dumpsters
The Township will again provide dumpsters for yard waste disposal from Monday, Oct. 16-Thursday, Nov. 30. The dumpsters will be located behind the Fire Station 2 building, 2990 Buttrick Ave. SE.

Please note:

The dumpsters are top load and yard waste needs to be carried up a small set of stairs to be dumped. Employees are not available to help dump yard waste.

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


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. 13th through Monday, Dec. 11th, 2023. Toys may be dropped off at Cascade Township Hall, 5920 Tahoe Drive SE. 8a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.