$11 Recreation Passport for Belle Isle starts phase-in on February 10th
Belle Isle officially becomes a state park on February 10th, 2014.
That same day, the gradual phase-in of the Recreation Passport for access to the island begins.
The $11 Passport offers access to all Michigan state parks and recreation areas. It can be purchased through the Secretary of State when you renew your license plate registration.
The Recreation Passport is directly tied to Michigan drivers’ license plate registration renewal. Throughout Belle Isle’s first year of Recreation Passport requirement, a vehicle can access the island without a Recreation Passport until the owner’s next registration renewal date. For example, if a vehicle license plate registration renewal date is August 2014, then the Passport is not needed on that vehicle until August. Likewise, if the renewal date is December 2014, then the Passport is not needed until December. Once a full year has cycled (February 2015), all vehicles entering the park must have a Recreation Passport.
Belle Isle Park is currently in transition to become Michigan’s 102nd state park. At the end of a 90-day transition period on February 10th, the city will maintain ownership of Belle Isle, while the state Department of Natural Resources will assume responsibility for managing the park.
The Michigan Department of Transportation will be responsible for roads and bridges on Belle Isle.
The DNR says revitalization efforts are already under way. Several hundred hazardous trees were felled and some ground to mulch, trails cleared of brush, a shelter re-roofed, picnic tables refurbished and refuse barrel posts anchored in the ground.
Open and restored restrooms, enjoyable picnic areas and cleared trails are just some of the areas that are being handled first. Additional immediate priorities include refuse management, picnic shelter repairs, and staff hiring, which is already in progress, according to the DNR.