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Podcast: Preserving Belle Isle, Detroit's Natural Jewel

Belle Isle holds fond memories for generations of Detroiters. Old timers tell stories of fishing and swimming in the island park's waters. Younger folk tell of the nights spend cruising around its perimeter. It is an environmentally important part of the city's landscape and a unique place in America's municipal recreation spaces.

But with hard times hitting Detroit, volunteers like Mebby Pearson and the Friends of Belle Isle find it challenging to keep up the forests and canals that are an integral part of it. She spoke with TIME about what Belle Isle is and what it faces.

Click "play" below.

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