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"Belle Isle: Soul of the City"


The Friends of Belle Isle in partnership with the Detroit Historical Society will present "Belle Isle: Soul of the City," a public exhibition in the community gallery of the Detroit Historical Museum located at 5401 Woodward. This exhibit will run from July 18 - October 11, 2009, with an opening night event on July 17, 2009 and a forum on park management on October 8, 2009.

Generations have loved Belle Isle for its mix of recreation and culture, scenic natural setting and heritage as a Frederick Law Olmsted showcase park. This exhibit takes a closer look at what it takes to maintain this gem, and the care needed to assure its full potential as a model for urban living.

In the past decade, there has been much discussion about a Master Plan for the park, conservation of its historical and natural assets, and activities available for the community there. In fact, this exhibition includes information on all the ways you can participate in island activities or stewardship. It showcases park photography, natural ecological features, historic preservation, and nostalgic memorabilia of all aspects of the 150 year history as a park.

In so many ways, Belle Isle has lit the way for better urban living since its purchase for use as a park in 1879. The rich cultural heritage of the park is celebrated in picnics and reunions every year, and its worth is demonstrated in special civic events, recreational programs and everyday leisure. Its fragile ecosystem is less well-understood, but as Americans everywhere are learning about the value of "going green," equally important.

The opening night for "Belle Isle: Soul of the City" runs from 6:00 - 8:00 at the Detroit Historical Museum, including food and wine. Tickets are $40 each to benefit the Friends of Belle Isle, and Belle Isle related products including "Island in the City: How Belle Isle Changed Detroit Forever," a 112 page history of the park will be available along with information about the park's future.

Call 313-833-7934 for more info about Museum hours and operations, and 313-331-7760 for more info about the Friends of Belle Isle.
Or visit www.fobi.org or www.detroithistorical.org.

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