Sunday, November 10, 2013

Wandering Around Milliken State Park

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.
 It is actually the William G. Milliken State Harbor and Park.  When the park was originally taken over by the State in 2004, it was named the Tri-Centennial State Park in honor of Detroit's 300th Anniversary.  It was the state's first urban park.  In 2009, it was given its current name in honor of Michigan's former governor.
 Part of the park is a State Harbor whose entrance is marked by the Tri-Centennial Light.  The lighthouse was built at the same time as the park and is a replica of the tower at Tawas Point.
 A closeup shot of the tower itself.
 I kind of liked the reflection in the water. 
 During the summer, the harbor is pretty busy, but with the impending winter, it is currently only housing a boat for the border patrol. 
 An overview of the Harbor.  I think it is kind of cool that the view includes the Ren Cen.
 As you can see it, it is fairly well maintained.  It is certainly better maintained than Belle Isle.
 Another portion of the Harbor with the city as a backdrop.
 The boathouse and bathrooms. 
 Another view of the lighthouse with the Blough in the background.
 Looking up at the tower.
 An anchor statue.  The artist was a Mr. Klein and based on the date, this was created in 1991.
 Another angle of the anchor.
 The anchor and the lighthouse.
 Some of the sidewalk tiles.  They depict some of the fish that you can catch in the Detroit River.
 A different pair of tiles.  I actually saw someone catch some perch today.
 Another shot of the harbor.
 Another angle of the boathouses and stuff.
 I kind of liked this seal.
 Another picture of the Stroh statue.
 Milliken also doubles as a wetland.  But not much of one.
 I kind of liked the reflection of the Merry Go Round in this picture.  During the summer, this is fairly busy.
 A shot of the Ren Cen reflection in the fountain.
 Another shot of the Merry Go Round.
 One more for good measure.
This park is also part of the Detroit River Walk.  If you continued on this path, you would end up in Hart Plaza.

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