By Sara Powers

(CBS DETROIT) – Belle Isle’s old zoo area is getting revamped and officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are asking for input on the plans through a public survey.

In a DNR survey, people will be asked to rank six themes – each tied to several MSU student design-led plan images – in order of importance for development of the old zoo area at Belle Isle Park, as well as provide other valuable input. | Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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The survey is open from now through July 4, for anyone who wants to share their opinion on an overarching theme for the space.

In a partnership between the Michigan State University School of Planning Design and Construction and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division, six themes for the space were created.

In a DNR survey, people will be asked to rank six themes – each tied to several MSU student design-led plan images – in order of importance for development of the old zoo area at Belle Isle Park, as well as provide other valuable input. | Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

According to the MDNR, last fall, MSU landscape architecture students led a virtual workshop with park stakeholders, and input from that workshop was used to create the themes, and student-led designs were built around those themes.

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A bird’s-eye view of Belle Isle Park’s old zoo area. | Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The six overarching themes include:

  • Honoring and exploring Belle Isle’s history.
  • Showcasing the island’s opportunities for sustainable ecosystems.
  • Providing ample outdoor education opportunities.
  • Elevating creative and performing arts in nature.
  • Offering interactive outdoor adventures and concessions.
  • Making space to retreat to and interact with nature and each other.

Community members, visitors, and others interested are encouraged to fill out the survey by July 4.

The survey will ask each person to rank the themes in order of importance and share their opinion on which theme is best suited for the old zoo area after viewing images of the student-designed spaces.

“Public input is a big part of creating meaningful public spaces, and this survey opportunity is a first step toward involving the public throughout the process as we work toward redevelopment of this historic space on Belle Isle,” said Amanda Treadwell, urban field planner for the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.

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