PROJECTS & INITIATIVES
BEACH REVITALIZATION AND NEW SPLASH PARK
The Belle Isle Conservancy is partnering with the Michigan DNR and the City of Detroit to build a new splash pad on Belle Isle. As part of a beachfront revitalization project, a new splash pad will replace the water slide near Belle Isle Beach and provide recreational opportunities for park users of all ages and abilities. The goal of the project is to provide a low maintenance, environmentally friendly community amenity that is accessible to all. For more information on the project and opportunities to provide feedback, click HERE.
DETROIT 67 PLACEMAKING FOR PEACE
The Belle Isle Conservancy is partnering with the Michigan DNR to commemorate the civil unrest that occurred in Detroit in 1967 by activating the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon Tower (Peace Tower) area, a greatly underutilized space at Belle Isle Park. We are launching a design competition to seek ideas for activating the space with wind chimes, a communal table, and seating. For information on the design competition, click HERE.
The focus of ‘Keep Belle Isle Beautiful’ is to create education and awareness regarding our behavior (littering) and an understanding of how litter ultimately affects our parks and waterways. The goal of the campaign is to evoke the change required to positively impact Belle Isle, the Detroit River and our role in the greater ecosystem. In collaboration with the initiative, public programming and volunteer opportunities will be created. To volunteer to 'Keep Belle Isle Beautiful', click HERE.
LILY POND RESTORATION
For years, the collection of Koi fish have been moved from their winter home in the basement of the Belle Isle Aquarium to their summer home in the Lily Pond that sits between the Aquarium and Conservatory. We are pleased to announce that revenue from the 2015 and 2016 Garden Party fundraisers, a grant from MDOT, and resources from the Michigan Department of Natural Resource and the Belle Isle Conservancy have enabled the Lily Pond to receive a face lift and modern updates. The renovation will address cracks in the pond's basin, falling boulders, uneven grading, and lack of a filtration system. The construction work is scheduled to commence in the Spring of 2017 and will take about 4 weeks once the temperatures are at a consistently warm level. The end result will be a suitable environment for the koi to be visited in their pond all year long.
The Belle Isle Conservancy reopened the Belle Isle Aquarium in 2012 after seven years of closure. While there is still a long road ahead to fully bring back the grandeur of its day and modernize infrastructure to contemporary Aquarium standards, immense progress has been made to restore the 113 year old facility and enhance the visitor experience. The skylights have been reopened, allowing natural light into the building for the first time in over 50 years, the back alcove has been renovated with new tank exhibits, and we’re bringing more tanks online that were previously dormant. Over the last four years, we’ve seen attendance skyrocket from about 800 visitors per weekend to over 5,000 visitors during peek weekends. For more information on the Belle Isle Aquarium, click HERE.