Region III Regional Meeting | Detroit, MI
Connect: Exploring the Rebirth of Belle Isle, Detroit
Saturday, September 7 | 1:00PM - 6:00PM
Belle Isle Park is a 982-acre historic park near downtown Detroit, Michigan, and home to the longest continually operating conservatory in the US, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. GWA member Lisa Steinkopf is a volunteer there. When Region III Director, Susan Martin, was growing up near Belle Isle, it was a vibrant park which had its own aquarium, zoo, golf course, and other attractions. Sadly, it succumbed to the blight that overcame Detroit for decades.
However, as the city has been making its comeback over the last 5-7 years, so has Belle Isle. The city has just commissioned world-famous garden designer Piet Oudolf to create one of his signature gardens, like his High Line Project in New York City, on Belle Isle. Since the state took control of the park in 2014, it has become an official state park and admission is now charged. Many state residents pay the $11/year extra when they renew their license plate to have the “passport license” which allows them into all state parks all year long free of charge. Otherwise, the entrance fee to Belle Isle is $9/day and all attractions inside the park are free.
In our Connect meeting, we will meet at the historic Ann Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle at 1:00PM for a tour led by the lead horticulturist on the island, Jeremy Kemp. After that, members will have a chance to explore the extensive gardens and attractions on the island at their leisure. At 5:00PM, attendees who wish to stay for dinner will meet at one of the hip new eateries (exactly location TBD) that has led to Detroit’s rising reputation as a “foodie city.”
Attendees who wish to make a full day of the event will be directed to the Detroit Riverfront for a morning stroll and photography opportunities. The Detroit Riverfront is very close to Belle Isle and features extensive new gardens along the Detroit River. A visit to these gardens would be a perfect way to spend the morning.
REGISTRATION IS FREE AND OPEN TO GWA MEMBERS AND NON-MEMBERS