Belle Isle Conservancy’s Polish the Jewel Luncheon Goes Virtual for the 2020 Event


 The 16th Annual Polish the Jewel Belle Isle Legacy Luncheon will continue this year as a virtual celebration on Thursday, October 15, 2020, from 12:00pm – 1:30pm with keynote speaker Dr. Beth Peter, advocate for Park Rx. Belle Isle Conservancy’s President and CEO, Michele Hodges, will co-host the program with Sommer Woods, Vice President of External Relations, Marketing & Communications for M1 RAIL. Woods also serves as the Detroit City Council’s appointee to the Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee. Attendees will receive a picnic basket of goodies to accompany the at-home experience and to use for future visits to Belle Isle.

For generations, Belle Isle has served the community as a place for recreation, connection, restoration, and reflection. The events of 2020 have caused communities around the globe to use parks in greater numbers as outdoor spaces have become safe havens for healthy recreation in the midst of a global pandemic. Visits to Belle Isle and other green spaces have significantly increased, thus reinforcing the importance of the Conservancy’s work to pitch in to maintain Belle Isle for the greater good of the community. Funds raised at this year’s event will support the Conservancy’s mission to protect, preserve, restore, and enhance Belle Isle for the enjoyment of all – now and forever.

“Growing up my Grandfather would take me to the Eastern Market to get fresh fruit pulling me in his red wagon. Afterward, we would go to Belle Isle and eat the fruit we purchased. Belle Isle was my first memory of visiting a park and it remains a special place in my heart. I am proud to be a part of this year’s Polish the Jewel and giving me another opportunity to share my love of our city’s beautiful park”, said Sommer Woods.

Attendees can expect a thoughtful discussion of Belle Isle’s role in the community, of the important and various meanings that the park holds to its visitors, and the importance of an equitable park user experience. Keynote speaker Dr. Beth Peter will add additional context by presenting the Park Rx program which prescribes park visits as part of patient wellness plans with the idea (and proof) that parks and outdoor spaces have the power to positively impact our health.

“Belle Isle is a place with a very significant history. Reflecting on this year with the onset of COVID-19 and the momentum that continues to push social justice to the forefront, it’s impossible to separate Belle Isle from these moments,” said Michele Hodges.

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