Belle IsleBelle Isle
is a 702 acre island in the Detroit River
that is a park managed by the Detroit
Department of Parks and Recreation. It is connected to the rest of the city by the MacArthur Bridge. It is home to the Detroit Yacht Club (http://www.dyc.com/),
the Dossin Great Lakes Museum (http://www.glmi.org/),
a Coast Guard post (http://hometown.aol.com/budatlitho/division10/belleil.htm),
and a municipal golf
course. The zoo was "temporarily" closed in 2003 due to budget constraints. The island includes a half-mile swimming beach, the only beach in the city of Detroit.
The island was landscaped in the 1880's by Frederick Law Olmsted, a prominent urban park designer. The 1908 Belle Isle Casino building is still used for occasional public events but no longer a casino. The highlight of Belle Isle is the combination of the America's first public aquarium (http://travel.michigan.org/detail.asp?m=2&p=B564) and a beautiful botanical garden. (http://www.bibsociety.org/sys-tmpl/door/) The island is home to a herd of escaped European fallow deer.
Additional recreational options include a nature center, wheelchair accessible nature trail, playground, picnic shelters, and tennis and basketball courts and baseball fields.
Belle Isle is also the name of an island in the James River that is located in Richmond, Virginia, and of an island off the coast of Brittany which may be the place where Breton is still spoken most.