Earlier in the year, the State of Michigan proposed that it would take over Belle Isle and lease it from the City of Detroit for a nice sum every year. The Detroit City Council unwisely rejected that offer. I don't normally get into politics on this blog but this is a case where I will. I think that was stupid on the part of the City Council to reject that deal, given the dire situation of the City of Detroit.
There were of course several factors that motivated their decision but one of the factors that should have motivated it the other way was the fact that Mayor Bing had to close a number of parks around the city because there wasn't the money in the city's budget for them. Honestly, it doesn't look like there is enough money in the city's budget to properly maintain the parks it does have open, including Belle Isle.
Recently, Detroit's Emergency Finance Manager brought that idea back to the table again. And of course, the City Council rejected the deal (this time it's more of a meaningless gesture I think). They like to state that Belle Isle is a gem. If that's the way they treat gems, I would hate to see how they treat other things. It seems like it is private groups that do much of the maintaining of the island.
Anyway, if people think the DNR running Belle Isle is a bad idea, they should take a wander over to Milliken State Park. That is probably a good predictor of what would happen if the State took over the running of Belle Isle.