Detroit's Belle Isle becomes a state park: What you need to know about the $11 Recreation Passport
6:04 PM, Feb 9, 2014
12:43 PM, Feb 10, 2014
DETROIT (WXYZ) - Belle Isle is now a state park! Michigan's Department of Natural Resources officially took over the management of Detroit's beloved island park.
Whether you just want to visit the park or host a big family reunion there this summer, there are a few key points you need to know about.
First off, because Belle Isle is part of the state park system, you will eventually need a Recreation Passport to get on the island. The passport also allows you a year of admission to the state's other parks.
It will cost $11 for cars and $5 for motorcycles and can be purchased when you renew your car's license plate. When you drive onto Belle Isle, park officials will eventually be able to quickly look at the tags on your license plate to see if you've purchased a recreation passport.
Because license plates are renewed throughout the year, you will not be required to have a passport until after your next renewal date this year.
If you don't end up purchasing the state's Recreation Passport with your license plate renewal, you'll also be able to buy one when you visit Belle Isle.
It's worth noting: If you walk, jog, run or bike onto Belle Isle, there will be no fee and no requirement of a Recreation Passport.
Changes on the island have brought quite a few questions from people scheduled to host events on the island this year. Because it's such a popular spot for weddings and family reunions, many of these events were scheduled more than a year ago.
If that's the case, the city and the state both say they will honor your plans and payments. In fact, their pricing structure for events will not be changed through the remainder of 2014.
If you have a Belle Isle wedding or event planned for 2014, park organizers will reach out to you with vouchers your guests can use to get on the island.