Belle Isle seeking ideas for island programs, events

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Belle Isle supporters interested in planning a community event or program for the island are invited to present their ideas during a mini-grant contest in August.

One winner will receive grant dollars and staff support to make their idea a reality.

The Belle Isle Conservancy and Michigan Department of Natural Resources have partnered with Detroit SOUP, an organization that hosts dinners to fund grants for community programs, projects and businesses.

Belle Isle SOUP will be 5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Cricket Field near the Belle Isle Casino. During the dinner, which is open to the public, attendees pay $5 for soup, bread, salad and a vote.

Attendees will hear four proposals and vote on one they believe will be the most beneficial to the community. The winner will receive the money raised during the event as well as conservancy staff support to make the idea happen, officials said.

“This is a wonderful step in our efforts to engage the community by providing an intentional platform in which they can not only bring their ideas for improving and enhancing the park to the table, but also receive funding and Conservancy staff support to do so,” Michele Hodges, president of the Belle Isle Conservancy said in a statement.

To date, Detroit SOUP has raised more than $120,000.

Ideas can be dropped off at the Belle Isle Conservancy through Aug. 12 and submitted until Aug. 14 online at

Other drop off locations include Eastside Community Network, Live6 Detroit, Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp., Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, SER Metro Detroit and Joy-Southfield Community Development Corp..