A Garden By A World-Class Designer Is Coming To Belle Isle

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Over on Belle Isle today, boosters broke ground on the Piet Oudolf garden, the unofficial name for the landscape installation planned for 2.5 acres at the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon.

Oudolf is a legendary Dutch garden designer and author who’s perhaps best known for his work on New York City’s High Line, a linear park on a former elevated rail track, and the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park. You can watch a PBS NewsHour segment with him below; in it, he talks specifically about the project in Detroit and the city itself.

On today’s episode, we speak with two members of the volunteer organization Oudolf Garden Detroit — Maura and Duncan Campbell. They tell us all about how Oudolf was persuaded to do a commission in Detroit, what’s involved and how backers hope it might lead to some transformational changes to Belle Isle — and the city as a whole.

Installation — that is to say, the planting of the 18,000 plants — kicks off in September, and the organization is still raising money toward its $4.2 million total price tag. If you’re interested in volunteering, making a contribution or just learning more, visit them at oudolfgardendetroit.org.

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