2014 : Belle Isle Becomes 102nd Michigan State Park

February 10, 2023 all-day

Historical Photo of Belle Isle from Hour Detroit

Belle Isle became Michigan’s 102nd state park Monday as the state Department of Natural Resources began running the island park in a move that is expected to save the city up to $6 million a year and infuse tens of millions of dollars in clean-up and upgrades.

Access to the 982-acre island has been free and will remain so for pedestrians. But the state plans to begin phasing in a requirement that vehicle drivers have an annual recreation passport indication on their license plate to enter the park.

The passport costs $11 for vehicles and $5 for motorcycles and can be bought when drivers renew their license plate registration through the Secretary of State or at the park, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. The passport also allows drivers to enter any state park or recreation area.

The fee will help finance upgrades on the island, where conditions have deteriorated in recent decades when the park was run by the city.

For the full article, see George Hunter, “Michigan officially takes over operation of Belle Isle”, Detroit News, Febraury 10, 2014.

For another, see “Belle Isle becomes a state park today, improvements continue”, Michigan Newswire, February 10, 2014.

Craig Fahle, “The ‘New’ Belle Isle? : As the state eases into its transition game, some improvements are already underway — including more law enforcement”, Hour Detroit, June 2014.