Detroit Today

Belle Isle: Six Months After The Takeover

Friday, Aug. 15, 2014

It's been about six months since Michigan's Department of Natural Resources took over control of Belle Isle. Since then, according to the DNR, 200 hazardous trees have been removed, restrooms have reopened, the Scott Fountain is now running again and speed limits have been enforced.

As a result of enforcement of rules on Belle Isle, the Detroit Free Press reported the following from the Michigan State Police:

Traffic stops: 1,191
Citations: 108
Verbal warnings: 1,103
Felony arrests: 19
Fugitives arrested: 80
Weapons arrests: 8

Additionally, the city says, handing Belle Isle over to the DNR will save Detroit $4 million to $6 million a year in maintenance and policing.

But there has also been some controversy.

The Detroit Free Press's John Gallagher reports: "As a result of state control, Belle Isle has been cleaner, less rowdy, and probably safer this summer than at any time in years. It also has seen less usage, although hard numbers are unavailable because the city previously never made anything more than vague estimates of the number of visitors. But Michele Hodges, president of the nonprofit Belle Isle Conservatory, which raises money for park projects, says attendance clearly is down from previous years when the park could be jammed on summer days."

And now we want to hear from you.

So, answer some of these questions in the form below: How has Belle Isle changed for you? How often do you go? And if it has changed, and it has affected your attendance, tell us why.