Shiver On the River, Belle Isle Aquarium
Docent, Belle Isle Aquarium, Detroit, MI
A group of determined supporters and volunteers re-opened Detroit’s Belle Isle Aquarium for a successful special event in February 2012. The aquarium, a wonderful place to learn about the conservation of aquatic environments, closed in 2005.
Over 4,000 attendees participated in the special event, showing that the community wants their aquarium back. A small group of volunteers made this event possible.
Volunteers filled the tanks with fish and educational displays, and joined with other organizations to plan a fun and educational day for visitors. These same volunteers maintain the animals and tanks, as well as a Facebook page. An inspiring volunteer obtained grant funds to repair the roof and windows of the 107-year-old building (designed by noted architect Albert Kahn).
The re-opening received positive coverage in the local media. New volunteers and sponsors were recruited at the event. As the anthropologist Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Nothing could be truer in the case of the Belle Isle Aquarium.