DNR seeks input on Belle Isle Park’s strategic management plan

Share your ideas on a 10-year plan for the popular island park.
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Statewide DNR News

Jan. 18, 2018

Contact: Debbie Jensen (DNR), 517-284-6105

DNR seeks input on Belle Isle Park's strategic management plan

Belle Isle Park fountainThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Belle Isle Conservancy, is seeking input on a new draft strategic management plan for Belle Isle Park. The public is invited to attend either one of the two-hour meetings (2 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m.) set for Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit.

Belle Isle Park, a 982-acre island park located in the Detroit River near downtown Detroit, is rich with natural beauty and historical and cultural resources. The park is home to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Belle Isle Aquarium, a golf range, the James Scott Memorial Fountain and many more attractions popular with all ages and interests. The park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, bicycling, kayaking and picnicking. Visit belleislepark.org for more information.

The new draft strategic management plan guides the future long-term sustainability of Belle Isle Park. It defines a planning and management strategy for the upcoming 10-year period that addresses resource protection, capital improvement and operations to best serve the mission of the park going forward. The draft plan is a result of a nine-month planning effort by DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy staff, and takes into consideration stakeholder and public input received during the public planniBelle Isle Park kayakng process last March, as well as other existing park plans and studies.

"The DNR appreciates all of the public input we received early in the planning process," said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. "That feedback helps to determine future priorities for the iconic park and to ensure the park effectively meets the diverse public needs, so that we can address additional park improvements and critical infrastructure."

Public meeting details

Those interested are invited to attend either one of the two-hour meetings Thursday, Feb. 1: either 2 to 4 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. The meetings will begin with a presentation of the plan and planning process, after which the public may review the planning materials, provide comments and talk to DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy staff.

Both meetings will take place at the Riverview Loft at the Outdoor Adventure Center, 1801 Atwater St. in Detroit. Free parking is available on the east side of the Outdoor Adventure Center, which can be accessed from Atwater Street.

Copy of plan and online comments

A link to the Belle Isle Park draft strategic management plan and additional information on the planning process can be found at michigan.gov/parkmanagementplans. Comments also will be accepted via the project website through Feb. 12.

For more information about the public meeting or the draft plan, contact DNR park management plan administrator Debbie Jensen at 517-284-6105 (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired) or via email at jensend1@michigan.gov. Persons with disabilities who need accommodations to participate in the meetings should contact Jensen at least five business days before the meetings.

/Editor's note: Accompanying photos of the James Scott Memorial Fountain and visitors kayaking off the island are available below for download. A suggested caption follows.

Belle Isle Park, located in the Detroit River near downtown Detroit, offers plenty of fun, outdoor recreation opportunities. The public is invited to comment on the draft strategic management plan at one of two meetings taking place Feb. 1 or via the project website by Feb. 12./

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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