The Garden Party
on Belle Isle
History of the Garden Party on Belle Isle
In the fall of 2006 Carol Gove, President of the Junior League Gardeners, contacted the Belle Isle Botanical Society about commemorating their 75th year anniversary with a “friend-raiser” for the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. The Botanical Society met with the Detroit Recreation Department on Belle Isle and received approval to hold Reflections on the Pond on Tuesday, September 11, 2007. Carol Gove and Ginna Donnelly were the first co-chairwomen.
The Presidents of Grosse Pointe Garden Clubs were contacted, a committee formed, a mailing database developed, volunteers recruited, caterer and entertainment obtained, and invitations created using an old postcard, the signature image for this event. Over $17,000 was donated toward the renovation of the Lily Pond including a viewing area for the public to behold the amazing koi and water plant collection.
From that first party an ongoing group of volunteers worked to make each party more successful than the last. When the Botanical Society merged into the Belle Isle Conservancy, they were able to utilize their help and assistance and to grow the party. 14 more parties have been hosted since 2007.