A land dedication marked the official opening of Bee Rock in Monterey Saturday.
Bobby Walker donated the 10.65 acres of land to Monterey last year. The donation also came with a conservation easement with Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation.
Tennessee Greenways Executive Director Steve Law said the conservation easement protects much more than just Bee Rock.
“It’s conserving and integral part of a much larger landscape. The Calfkiller Upper Watershed, which is a conservation priority for protecting some of our most imperiled plants and animals, including 18 rare species,” Law said. “This is a foothold for additional conservation work, and you can be assured that this magnificent natural area will be jotted for generations to come.”
Mayor Bill Wiggins said the conservation easement allows Monterey to make limited improvements to the park.
“We’re looking at putting an alternative walkway up to the crest of the hill. Current’y, we’re talking about a cross-tied walkway with a railing for folks who can’t navigate the trail,” Wiggins said. “Another thing we are thinking about is building another overlook for folks who can’t negotiate and want to visit.”
The town already received a Tourism Enhancement grant to build a compost restroom facility.