The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Garden Club of Michigan will host two public meetings November 14 and November 28 to gather public input on a proposed garden in Detroit’s Belle Isle Park. The garden will be designed by internationally renowned garden designer Piet Oudolf.
Oudolf’s acclaimed gardens include the Lurie Garden in Chicago and the Highline in New York City, among scores of gardens around the world. He is one of today’s premier garden designers for public landscapes and is a leading figure of the “New Perennial” movement that is characterized by utilizing herbaceous perennials and grasses. His garden designs are artistic, ecologically inspired, accessible, welcoming, and enjoyed year-round.
After touring Detroit with the Garden Club of Michigan this past spring, Oudolf selected Belle Isle Park as the proposed site for one of his acclaimed garden designs. The site, located near the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon Tower between the Remick Band Shell and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, will be a connector in the cultural heart of the park. It also will help revitalize the island and attract garden lovers from near and far. The proposed garden will be paid for through donations and fundraising that will cover all the design, installation and maintenance costs.
Oudolf described the proposed Belle Isle site as a connector for people and activities on the island and “an opportunity to reinvigorate the adjacent structures and facilities.”
Open house dates & details
At the open houses, participants will view a short video of Oudolf discussing his vision for the garden and providing insight into the preferred site location. He also will respond to a few questions submitted by the public ahead of time. Both open houses will take place at the Flynn Pavilion (4435 Muse Road, Belle Isle Park, Detroit).
First open house: Tuesday, November 14, 6 to 8 p.m.
Second open house: Tuesday, November 28, 3 to 5 p.m. Will address questions that arise from the first open house.
“It is vital that the community has an opportunity to weigh in on the proposal,” said Scott Pratt, chief of Southern Field Operations for the DNR. “It is equally important that the DNR and the garden club ensure that the garden will be financially sustainable and has the support of state and city agencies.”