We are so excited to continue to “connect the community” through our Airport Viewing Park Enhancement Project as part of the Community Is Our Middle Name Capital Campaign.

Since 2002 the Cascade Community Foundation has believed that it takes more than assets alone to create a strong community. What truly makes the difference is how those assets are woven together to craft stories, spark relationships, and care for treasured places. Our mission is to be the thread pulling it all together, so that Cascade and the greater Forest Hills area are not just places to be but also places to belong. In order to continue to carry out that mission, we are embarking on an exciting journey. In October of 2013, Cascade Community Foundation kicked off a comprehensive $2.4 million dollar Community is our Middle Name–Capital Campaign Enrichment Project which, when completed, will connect and enhance not only our community but greater Grand Rapids by enriching our parks, expanding and renovating the Airport Viewing Park, and building the Cascade Community Foundation Endowment.

To ensure the success of the Cascade Community Foundation Enrichment Project, a year-long thoughtful planning process was conducted by the Board, staff, and consultants from both inside and outside the community. The process included the discussion of parks improvement, projected future demand for services, and a financial feasibility study. The result has produced positive endorsements from the Board of Cascade Township; the Supervisors of Caledonia Township, Ada Township, and Grand Rapids Township; the Gerald R. Ford International Airport; and the West Michigan Aviation Academy. This affirmation fills us with pride for what the Foundation has already accomplished, and more importantly, it fuels our passion with a vision for the future.

Over the years, the Airport Viewing Park—which is part of the Greater Cascade Community—has become a favorite spot for families, aviation enthusiasts, professional photographers, would-be travelers, and tourists who just get a thrill from getting “up close and personal” to airplanes. People of all ages love to watch these flying machines, from children who enjoy hearing the noise and feeling the ground shake at takeoff to dedicated plane spotters who want to get a close look at “jets” as they make their final descent for landing.

People come out in droves to experience the spectacle of takeoffs and landings from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR). The Airport Viewing Park, located on Kraft Avenue north of 52nd Street, is the ideal place to gaze at sweeping views of GRR’s runways and the Air Traffic Control Tower and spend hours plane-watching. However, the Viewing Park is in disarray. The 53 parking spaces are usually filled to capacity. There is no parking for buses or RVs, and there are no permanent restrooms and only a few scattered picnic tables. The Cascade Community Foundation Enrichment Project will change that picture.