Making an impact on the local, regional, and global levels!

Spring Cleanup 2021

In honor of Earth Day and in celebration of the Detroit River, we have elevated our annual Spring Cleanup into the largest volunteer event in Michigan-Ontario history. We are so excited to work with so many amazing organizations in a joint
mission to protect, preserve and celebrate the Detroit River. 

Partner Organizations

History of Spring Cleanup

The Belle Isle Spring Cleanup began in the 1970’s with a small group of volunteers from the park’s surrounding community, who would gather to help prepare the island for the busy season. Together they’d execute projects like raking leaves, painting fences, and gardening at various sites around the island. There was some trash pick up involved, but the focus of their work was on beautifying the park and the event concluded with a hot dog lunch each year.

Decades later, after the Belle Isle Conservancy was formed and the MDNR later assumed management of the island, the Spring Cleanup grew to include larger volunteer groups from across the Metro area. With the growth in attendance, the scope of the event gradually matured with the MDNR beginning to implement light construction projects for pre-registered groups (like building fences and park benches), and simultaneously, the Belle Isle Conservancy steered the focus of the clean-up towards conservation.


This shift in focus aligned the Spring Cleanup with Earth Day and highlighted the impact that trash has on waterways, marine life, animals, and people on local, regional, and global levels with the [2018] public launch of the Keep Belle Isle Beautiful anti-littering campaign. Because the nature of picnicking and using parks heavily involves the use of single-use waste that ends up in the water, the campaign urges park users to be aware and accountable for the individual difference they can make to the environment by ensuring that trash is properly disposed of and go on to litter the waterways and pollute the globe.

A Look Back at 2019

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Belle Isle Conservancy  | 300 River Place Drive, Suite 2800, Detroit, MI 48207  | 313.331.7760  |