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Old 10-09-2011, 03:44 PM
Location: The city you love to hate
3,179 posts, read 3,337,667 times
Reputation: 2043


Just a thought on what you would do the largest island park in America if you could do something about it. It can be anything that comes to mind. Rather it's minor or major money isn't a problem. Would you keep it how it is now or would you make it totally different?
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:11 PM
2,695 posts, read 3,108,773 times
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Make it a gated enclave with its own security force. Place a progressive school there for the residents children. With safety guaranteed, stress community involvement, children's events. Start rebuilding Detroit from there. Protected land values, safety and education. Then spread out.

Sort of like 'Risk' conquer the world from Australia first.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:26 PM
Location: west mich
5,740 posts, read 4,771,230 times
Reputation: 2103
Keep it a park - it's unique in America!
I knew people who used it (runners) who liked its quietude. I wouldn't like to see it overdeveloped. A small fee might keep the riffraff out. Maybe food vendors of various kinds.
Its drawing cards were: south end Detroit vista, lighted fountain, canoe rental. North end: stables & woodsy riding trails, kind of barren where the missile site was (maybe something could be added here). East side freighter watching, museum. West side, not much for avg folk (the yacht club).
At one time it had a canoe rental, riding stables, aquarium, nike base, passenger ferry boat from Jefferson.
With some improvements it could be a port-of-call for tour boats or ferries.
Do something with the casino bldg.
Don't know much about NYC's Central Park, but they seem to like it.

Last edited by detwahDJ; 10-09-2011 at 07:35 PM..
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:30 PM
Location: Downtown Detroit
1,497 posts, read 2,706,174 times
Reputation: 909
I was on the island today (I go there often). The city needs to charge an entrance fee of at least $5.00 for cars just like state parks do. It would help keep the riff raff out. Second, they need to fine people who litter. The amount of litter and disrespect for the park is astounding. It makes me sick to see people just throwing their trash on the ground.

To raise funds, they should sell seasonal passes that pay for admittance to the park and give members full access to park activities. City of Detroit residents should get greatly reduced rates as our city taxes already go toward maintaining the park, which currently is used for free by people across the region. To accommodate area residents that can't afford to pay for seasonal passes or entrance fees, one day a month the park should open for free to the public.

To reopen things like the aquarium, the city should offer them to private companies or philanthropies to run. Let them make a profit with the space. It's possible that the Detroit Zoo might want to maintain a satellite aquarium on the island, or a local university would want to run it as a teaching/research tool for biology. There are lots of creative options.

I would auction off the rights to develop the old casino to a local developer who could turn it into a restaurant/reception hall. You know how many people would want to have their weddings there? It's a beautiful location. I'd also allow that winery to grow its grapes on the island if it agreed to maintain some of property. It wouldn't detract from the island's natural beauty and we'd get free maintenance. I'd keep bringing back events like the grand prix that could be big money generators for the Island's upkeep.

Lastly, I'd get Scott Fountain running by letting a local company sponsor it and put up a plaque that states that Scott Fountain is maintained by "Ford Motor Company" or something to that effect.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:28 PM
Location: Michigan
4,436 posts, read 5,551,949 times
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I'd move the GP races back to downtown. As much as I like having the races in Detroit period, that paddock adds too much concrete to what ought to be a grassy park like area.

I'd add a fee, but I'm not too sure that would keep out the people that wanted to be kept out. But at least, I'd hope the money would go to improving the park, keeping it clean, and re-opening the zoo and aquarium.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:03 AM
Location: The city you love to hate
3,179 posts, read 3,337,667 times
Reputation: 2043
I wouldn't like to see the park overdeveloped either, like turning into another south beach or something. But I would like to see more attractions there, I would probably keep 3/4 of the island an actual park and have development on the far end of the island just to have more things to do. An Aquarium/ underwater shopping mall (they actually have those), if not a beach then a water park maybe inside the mall, a few restaurants and stuff, a couple boat tours and passenger ferry boats to and from downtown Detroit riverwalk. I always thought the Detroit Zoo should actually be on Belle Isle. I would also keep the park crispy clean and fine the HELL out of anybody that litters.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:07 AM
37,528 posts, read 17,723,776 times
Reputation: 10395
Originally Posted by GreyDay View Post
Make it a gated enclave with its own security force.
LMAO...yea, cuz the world needs more of that stuff.

Like someone else said, charge a fee for entry. Then hire a municipal security force especially for the island to keep it secure.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:13 AM
Location: west mich
5,740 posts, read 4,771,230 times
Reputation: 2103
Some good ideas here! It doesn't have to be a city park.
It could be a state park or county park and run in like fashion. Seasonal passes, daily passes, campground (?) with camp store, amenities for families, a rustic north end. Canoes could beach at the campground. A public marina for smaller boats. Nice place for a hostel. And use the casino bldg as a rental and offices. Each would have a fee.

Last edited by detwahDJ; 10-10-2011 at 12:24 AM..
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:06 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
18,003 posts, read 48,944,554 times
Reputation: 15409
Turn it over to HCMA. Let them rebuild and maintain it. They will charge an entry fee, but it is nto outrageous. They are very capable of maintaining beautiful parks. The City is not capable. Ge it onto the hands of an agency capable of running and maintaining it.

It would be mice if they developed to an extent simlar to Kensington. Make some nice beaches and pinic areas, bike trail, rebuild the zoo and aquarium, keep some of it natural.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:41 PM
Location: Here.
9,924 posts, read 8,865,540 times
Reputation: 12206
Blow up the MacArthur Bridge and annex the island to Macomb County!

No, seriously, I would pave over the whole island for the occasional car race and replace all the plumbing in the Scott Fountain with steel piping so the marble gets all rust stained.
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