By Amelia Kanan, CBSDetroit Blogger
Belle Isle gets a bad rap. “It’s dangerous,” “it’s filthy” and “what’s there even to do there?”
Sure, compared to Central Park, Belle Isle might look a little dingy. But, even though Belle Isle was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, this is not New York City, people. Detroit does not have funds like NYC to maintain Belle Isle like Central Park. Not to mention, think of all the people in that city that utilize that park daily. The more that people frequent an area, the more it will improve. It’s not rocket science.
Here’s some non-dangerous, clean and eventful facts about the Isle:
Kids’ Row: New and newly renovated play equipment with safety standards suitable for handicapped kids, the giant slide, a concession stand and family-friendly comfort station.
Outdoor Activities: Paddleboats, lots of places for fishing, 10 tennis courts (with lights), 9 baseball diamonds, cinder running track, driving range, putting green, Chip-n-Putt Family Golf Center, nature trails, bike paths, handball/racquetball courts, basketball courts, World Cup Soccer Field and picnic areas.
The Beach: During the summer, it’s staffed (aka, it’s regulated) and the beach itself is surprisingly clean. There’s also live jazz every Sunday between 6pm and 8pm.
Indoor: The Conservatory and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum are free and are an easy way to kill some time with your little ones.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone just started taking advantage of the scenery, the activities and amenities which then would lower crime, fuel even more renovations and clean ups? Food trucks and carts, vendors selling flip flops and purses and horse drawn carriages might end up appearing on the scene after awhile. Badda boom, badda bing, we might eventually have what NYC has with Central Park.
Amelia Kanan is freelance writer/photographer and a returning native of Detroit. A graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, she wrote for an Emmy nominated sketch comedy show and pursued her passion for documentary filmmaking in Los Angeles. An incomplete list of her loves: books, human rights, improv, the smell of new shoes, talking to strangers, libraries, France, yoga, furniture, music, sociology and pushing the limits.