© 2022 MICHIGAN RADIO
91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Belle Isle Nature Center reopens after $2.5 million makeover

The Sewer Tunnel Walk-through transforms the main hallway entrance into a sewer tunnel, inviting guests to explore how animals use city infrastructure (1).jpg
Belle Isle Nature Center
The Sewer Tunnel Walk-through transforms the main hallway entrance into a sewer tunnel, inviting guests to explore how animals use city infrastructure.

The Belle Isle Nature Center has announced its reopening to the public after a $2.5 million dollar renovation that offers new habitats and programs for children and adults.

The indoor space was closed to the public for more than two years.

"The Belle Isle Nature Center is truly unique," said Amy Greene, nature center director for the Detroit Zoological Society, which operates the Belle Isle Nature Center and the Detroit Zoo. "We've completely reimagined a new nature center which puts the focus on urban wildlife. We want people to feel that nature is where we already are. We just have to notice and appreciate it."

The expanded Pollinators Area offers interactive elements – including the opportunity to closely observe an active beehive. Guests can become immersed in the world of pollinators and see the world through “bee vis.png
Belle Isle Nature Center
The expanded Pollinators Area offers interactive elements – including the opportunity to closely observe an active beehive. Guests can become immersed in the world of pollinators and see the world through “bee vision."

"What's different now is a renewed focus on Detroit nature," said Greene. "Most or all of our programming really emphasizes the space we share with other living things."

Greene said that the all new exhibits and animal habitats are designed to celebrate urban wildlife and to show the intersection of the built and natural environments.

"You don't have to go somewhere to be part of nature," Greene said. "Nature is all around us all the time, even when you live right in the heart of the city, right? And our role here is to reveal that in a really creative way."

Among the many highlights of the renovation are the Frog and Toad Crawl-through, the Sewer Tunnel-Walk-through, and an interactive exhibit that lets a visitor observe an active beehive close up.

The Nature Center offers community and educational programming. A schedule of events can be found here.

The Nature Center is located on five acres at the northeastern tip of Belle Isle State Park in Detroit. It is open daily with no entrance fee. A Recreation Passport must be purchased to drive your vehicle onto Belle Isle.

Virginia Gordan has been a part-time reporter at Michigan Radio since fall 2013. She has a general beat covering news topics from across the state.
Related Content