The Belle Isle Spring Cleanup is now at capacity and registration is closed.
We welcome you to participate in the 'own your own' program along the Iron Belle Trail from Belle Isle through Lake Erie Metro Park April 17th - April 24th!


Click HERE for more details and learn how you can win a Shinola® Arrow bicycle by hosting your own cleanup this week!

In honor of Earth Day and in celebration of the Detroit River, we have elevated our annual Spring Cleanup into a week-long event and will be working as part of the Detroit River Coalition in a joint mission to protect, preserve and celebrate the Detroit River. 

Click here to learn more about the Detroit River Coalition.


TUNE IN TO A VIRTUAL EVENT: Participate in the festivities without leaving home!


ON YOUR OWN: Pick a cleanup location along the Iron Belle Trail at a day and time that works for you. Drop your trash in a dumpster marked with the Detroit River Coalition’s logo, and follow the directions on the next page to enter our cleanup contest!

SPRING CLEANUP: Join Belle Isle Conservancy on the island on April 24th to kick off the cleanup season at our annual Spring Cleanup.


Virtual Events | April 15-20

APRIL 15, 10 AM
Meet the Coalition via Facebook Live, and learn more about the events happening on April 17-24.


APRIL 20, 1-2 PM
Learn more about habitat restoration projects happening on the Detroit River. The presentations will be 30 minutes long with Q&A to conclude the event.


APRIL 19, 6:30 PM
Join us via Zoom for some good old-fashioned Binational Detroit River BINGO! Questions are family-friendly, all ages welcome. Once registered, we will email you the bingo card that you can use during the game. Registration is required:


On Your Own |April 17-24

Individuals, families, and friends can explore the Iron Belle Trail and have an environmentally impactful adventure by picking up litter on the trail of their choice. You could even win a Shinola bike!


• Visit a designated location along the Iron Belle Trail and facilitate your own mini cleanup. You can do this by yourself or with friends, kids, or workmates for a (COVID-safe) team. Click HERE for a map.

• Post a photo of your cleanup on Instagram or Facebook and tag @DetroitRiverCoalition. If you do not have access to social media, your photo can be emailed to with ‘Contest Photo’ in the subject line.

• Complete and submit the form linked below and post or email the required cleanup photo by 11:59pm, Saturday, April 24th. Both actions are required for contest entry.

• One form submission + photo = one contest entry. Only the name listed on the form will be entered to win.

Winner will be selected at random and contacted & announced Friday, April 30th

Spring Cleanup |April 24, 10am - 1pm

Since the 1970s, volunteers have been the pulse of the island’s annual Spring Cleanup event. In 2019 alone, 
volunteers removed 1,276 lbs pounds of disposable plastic and other littered items from the canals and lakes of  Belle Isle and the Detroit River, preventing it from making its way forward, further polluting our Great Lakes. 

Through this event and the ongoing #KeepBelleIsleBeautiful 
anti-littering campaign, our goal is to make great impacts at both the local level, by reducing litter from Belle Isle, as well as the regional level, by being an active contributor to the umbrella, global campaign to keep our waters free of plastic pollution. Please join us in the fight for a clean environment. 


  • Individuals who can bring their own kayaks are encouraged to do so. Please email Genevieve Nowak at if you have a kayak or another water vessel that you can bring to the cleanup.

  • Bags and gloves will be provided. 

  • Our cleanup will follow all CDC recommendations that allow us all to remain safe.

  • Please bring your reusable water bottle and stay hydrated. Please wear closed-toe shoes or boots and dress for the weather prediction of the day. Due to the nature of being outdoors, consider bringing your sunblock and bug spray.

Belle Isle really does have the most passionate and dedicated volunteers and it’s so much fun to watch them work their magic. Spring Cleanup is my favorite day of the year at the park. It’s an amazing experience to see everyone come together and create this huge impact. The energy on the island during Spring Cleanup is unlike any event I've experienced. I look forward to it all year long.

Genevieve Nowak, Director of Environmental Initiatives & Affairs at BIC

Details are subject to change, according to Executive Orders in place at time of event.

Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors!


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.