DETROIT - The Department of Natural Resources says Belle Isle Park will open to vehicle traffic at 2 p.m. on Monday, June 23, for the annual Detroit Ford Fireworks display (set to begin at 10:06 p.m.).
The island will open at 5 a.m. for all pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
"The DNR has adopted many of the city of Detroit's rules and policies for Belle Isle while they are evaluated and assessed," said Scott Pratt, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief of southern field operations. "This allows for state park and law enforcement staff to better understand the use of the island and the appropriate way to ensure a safe, enjoyable park environment for everyone."
DNR staff and volunteers will direct traffic to designated parking areas, located throughout the island.
"Parking is allowed only in these designated areas," said 1st Lt. David Malloch, with the DNR's Law Enforcement Division. "It's important for the public's safety to keep roadways open so all vehicles, especially emergency vehicles, can quickly navigate the island."
Parking in the designated locations is free of charge. The Recreation Passport requirement still applies. Once island capacity is reached, no additional vehicles will be admitted to the park. Parking is not permitted on the MacArthur Bridge.
So every visitor is given an opportunity to enjoy Detroit's popular fireworks display, the public is reminded that:
• Alcohol consumption is prohibited on the island except by use permit, which can be obtained from the park supervisor with a shelter or event rental.
• Tents and canopies should be 9 feet by 9 feet or smaller with no more than two tents or canopies per group.
• Consumer fireworks are prohibited on the island, a standard rule for all Michigan state parks.
Belle Isle will remain open until the fireworks display is completed, at which time the park will immediately close. Standard park hours are 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The $11 Recreation Passport is required for access to Belle Isle Park and, when purchased through the Secretary of State during license plate registration renewal, it's valid until the next license plate renewal date. The Recreation Passport applies only to vehicles, not individuals. Pedestrians, bicyclists and those using public transportation can enter the park for free and will not need the Passport.
The Recreation Passport requirement is being phased in gradually at Belle Isle Park. Vehicles will not need the Passport during the first year of state management until their next license plate registration renewal date. For example, if the vehicle license plate registration renewal date is in August 2014, then the Passport is not needed on that vehicle to enter Belle Isle until August. Once a full year has cycled (February 2015), all vehicles entering the park must have a Recreation Passport.
Belle Isle Park visitors can purchase their Recreation Passport on Belle Isle at the White House (administrative building) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily or from the Secretary of State during license plate registration renewal.
Learn more about the Recreation Passport at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.
Additional information about Belle Isle Park – Michigan's 102nd state park – is available at www.BelleIslePark.org.