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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Belle Isle Conservancy are looking to restore a historic shelter on the island and say they’re in need of your help.

There is currently a fundraiser to raise $50,000 by June 30 to restore the Newsboy Shelter (Shelter #1). This shelter was built in 1911 and is one of the oldest structures on Belle Isle.

The Newsboy Shelter got it’s name due to the proximity to the newsboy statue that was dedicated to the city of Detroit in the early 1900s by James Scripps. Scripps was the founder and publisher of The Detroit News.

You have probably seen the Newsboy Shelter while visiting the Belle Isle. It is located on Central Avenue by the park entrance. Those turrets are hard to miss.

Unfortunately, the shelter has seen better days, wooden joists and roof are rotted. The structure had to be stabilized with a support structure, because of the possibility that it could be brought down by a strong storm. The cedar-shingled roof now has a protective membrane on it as a precaution.

“While there has been an incredible amount of investment in park improvements by the DNR and the Belle Isle Conservancy since the island became a state park, there are simply not enough resources to address all of the needs in the park,” said Michele Hodges, president of the Belle Isle Conservancy. “We are being creative and tapping into platforms such as Patronicity to diversify revenue streams to address much-needed park improvements. The Newsboy Shelter campaign is one way for passionate individuals and groups to take action and make a contribution to help preserve these special places that we all love.”

It is so important to protect the pieces of our collective history, and the Newsboy Shelter is one of those places. There is no way we would be able to recreate this shelter if we were to loose it.

If you are interested in donating you can go to the Patronicity page that has been set up. All donations are tax deductible. You also get some pretty cool gifts depending on how much you donate.