“The island is the priceless jewel in the crown of Detroit; woods of green and waters of blue—art and nature—moving waves and waving grass—stillness and activity—vistas and broad views—beautiful flowers and lofty trees—the white sails of numerous vessels, and the swift motion of great steamers, all alike are combined in the captivating beauties of this favored place.” So the prolific Michigan historian Silas Farmer rapturously described Belle Isle before the start of the twentieth century. However, Belle Isle became in need of more than surface polish, requiring some major care, toward the end of the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. Enter the Belle Isle Conservancy.
Today on the island, you’ll find a lot of park and many opportunities to indulge in leisure activities, sightseeing of historic park structures, and some serious river watching. If you have been to Belle Isle before, you can expect things to look different on the island as the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan work with the Belle Isle Conservancy to polish the island.