Belle Isle has seen better days, and by that I mean it’s kind of full of garbage. Some people, including Michigan’s government, are trying to fix that. Some people, presumably with brain damage, are opposed to this.
An article from Mlive.com said, “The city’s consent agreement with the state calls for the state’s Department of Natural Resources to lease Belle Isle from the city and take over operations. Opponents argue the lease amount to a state takeover that will result in charging city residents a fee to use the park.”
Making sense of anything Detroit does is an effort in insanity, but let me take a crack at it. If leased to the state, Belle Isle will get cleaned up because if anyone can clean up the park, it’s the DNR. On the other hand, free admission to Belle Isle would likely end if the lease went through. Probably to pay for those sticks with the spike on them people use to pick up trash. This is a legitimate issue, especially since free admission makes more sense as long as the place is littered with old liquor bottles and trash.
The issue then is what you find more reprehensible: a clean park or a free park. If wallowing and photographing garbage and filth is your thing, state control is obviously not for you. If you want to enjoy a clean park without crying, I recommend state control.
Actually, I recommend a tactical non-nuclear strike that would level most of Detroit, but I don’t see that happening.
I really don’t see the issue here. Belle Isle has been a favorite recreational location for Detroiters for years. If the city could clean it up on its own, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, and I could play “Brutal Legend” and moonlight as a bear hunter.
Unfortunately, the city of Detroit couldn’t manage a lemonade stand at this point, so if there’s going to be any progress, it’s going to have to come from somewhere else.
I know it might seem weird to longtime readers for me be advocating state oversight. If it works, why not? What does Detroit lose by having the state overlook and clean up the park? What does Detroit gain by having garbage strewn and littered about? It’s Belle Isle, not New Jersey; we’re supposed to have standards here.
It may be too late to save Detroit. I’ll admit that. That doesn’t mean the areas surrounding it have to decay as well. Hopefully the cancer of Detroit’s downfall can be kept isolated to the city itself.
If there’s a chance we can make the surrounding areas better, maybe the city will eventually rebound from periphery contact. Maybe it won’t. Either way, Belle Isle has been a beautiful place of relaxation and nature for decades. It seems a waste to let that beauty be dragged down with the city. Together they have fallen, but maybe separately we can at least save one.