John Bell to be inducted into Emporia State University HPER Alumni Hall of Honor
Bell is one of six 2018 honorees who will be recognized at a ceremony on April 13. Bell earned a Bachelor of Science in Recreation in 2003. He was nominated by Clint Longacre, Ph.D. who cited Bell’s selection for Topeka’s Top 20 Under 40 in 2014, his service as vice president of the Topeka Tourism Alliance, and Old Prairie Town receiving the Historical/Cultural Facility Award from the National Association of County Parks and Recreation Organizations.
During his tenure, Bell, Shawnee County Parks + Recreation, and volunteers have breathed new life into Old Prairie Town. Buildings have be repaired and repainted; the Ward-Meade Botanical Garden has received two national display garden recognitions; Apple Festival has become a two-day event; the Wheatstock Music Festival was moved to Old Prairie Town; and a campaign has been undertaken to restore the Charles Sheldon Museum into a museum to house and display some of the world-famous Topeka minister’s artifacts.