New park coming to Henderson County, NC

Frank “Chief” Bell, Sr. was the founder of Camp Mondamin in Tuexedo, NC, one of the very first summer camps in Western North Carolina. Still managed by the Bell family, the camp is entering its 100th anniversary year in 2021. Not only did Camp Mondamin help four generations of children find their place in the natural world, it opened the way for the numerous summer camps in the region that connect kids with nature, strengthen our local economies, and keep land in a natural state.

Frank Bell was an intrepid adventurer who is the first person known to have paddled the famous Green River Narrows. He is remembered to this day by whitewater paddlers who go over “Frank Bell’s Rapid” on the French Broad River. This is where Bell and some campers braved the raging water and, in the process, destroyed their canoe.

The Bells founded Camp Mondamin for boys in 1921 and Camp Green Cove for girls in 1945. Over the years, they also led campers on far-flung adventures, including a canoe trip from Western North Carolina to the Mississippi.

Conserving Carolina is so close to opening a new county park in southern Henderson County. Named in honor of summer camp pioneers Frank and Calla Bell, the new park comprises approximately 70 acres with beautiful waterfalls and rock outcrops. Just as the Bells introduced generations of children to the wonders of nature, this new park creates a place for us all to connect with the natural world.

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