DNR officials to keep Belle Isle fountain on longer

Associated Press

Detroit — Visitor interest in the James Scott Memorial Fountain on Detroit’s Belle Isle has prompted state Natural Resources officials to keep it operating two weeks longer than planned.

The iconic fountain near the entrance of the island park in the Detroit River will not shut down for the season until Sept. 20, the state said in a news release. It had been scheduled to be turned off after Labor Day.

“The temperatures have remained warm and the park has drawn high numbers of visitors to the island, many of whom come to see the fountain,” DNR Parks and Recreation chief Ron Olson said. “By keeping it running for two more weeks, even more people can enjoy this island centerpiece.”

The fountain runs daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It began running for the season on Memorial Day.

Belle Isle became a state park last year under a 30-year lease agreement with Detroit, which had struggled for years to come up with money to maintain and improve the park.

The DNR now manages the popular venue, which gets regular cleanings and grass cuttings. A number of programs highlighting the island’s plant and animal life also are held.

Other Belle Isle attractions will close as scheduled heading into the cooler fall weather. The giant slide will shut down Tuesday and reopen sometime next June. Some restrooms will close Nov. 1 and reopen next spring.

“The restrooms that are closing for the season are not heated,” Belle Isle Park and Milliken State Park and Harbor supervisor Karis Floyd said. “Because the restrooms don’t have heating systems, the water pipes will freeze and burst during cold weather if these restrooms are not closed and winterized.”