Through a generous land donation and a partnership with the City of Monterey, TennGreen Land Conservancy assisted in permanently protecting Bee Rock for generations of Tennesseans to enjoy as a public park.
For decades, Bee Rock has drawn people from across Tennessee to climb its rocky face or to picnic at the top of the overlook located at the end of a 0.7-mile trail. Many hikers and climbers visited the property while it was still in the private ownership of the Walker family. In December of 2018, Bob Walker donated a conservation easement at Bee Rock to TennGreen Land Conservancy, limiting future construction and timbering on the land, and providing permanent public access to the property. With the conservation easement in place, Mr. Walker generously gave the property to the Town of Monterey for its use as a public park.
Beginning in 2016, TennGreen Land Conservancy, Mr. Walker, the Town of Monterey, and Putnam County undertook numerous meetings to determine a process to conserve Bee Rock and ensure its future availability for the public. Although Mr. Walker had many options for his land, he wanted to guarantee the overlook at Bee Rock always remained as a destination for hikers, picnickers, birders, climbers, and all those who are inspired by its natural beauty. The team worked together to draft a conservation easement specifying public access while also limiting timber harvest and development.
The Town of Monterey, who now owns the property, may build one small bathroom facility and a parking area, as well as any improvements as necessary to ensure the safety of those that visit the scenic overlook.