Tullahoma’s Marjorie Collier and Dennis Horn were honored on Sunday, April 7, when a bridge located within the Short Springs Natural Area was formally dedicated to them by the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The bridge, which crosses over Bobo Creek in the southern portion of the natural area, was built in 2017 by TVA and donated to the city shortly thereafter. It was named the Collier-Horn Bridge due to their outstanding dedication to the Short Springs Natural Area over the course of their lives.

Collier’s name came to mind due to her consistent “community activism” in preserving the history and “cultural heritage” of the Tullahoma community, per the resolution to formally name the bridge for her and Horn.

Her work with the Tullahoma Historic Preservation Society also significantly contributed to Collier’s interest in the Short Springs Natural area, according to the resolution.

Collier was instrumental in having Short Springs Natural Area added to the list of natural areas in the state of Tennessee, recognizing the area serves as “an excellent contrast between Highland Rim and Central Basin geology and vegetation,” per the state’s environment and conservation website.

Collier’s vast list of accomplishments in the Tullahoma area also contributed to her name being added to the bridge, including her work with the Tullahoma Time Table, a periodical published by the Historic Preservation Society; her work in founding the Back Roads Heritage Foundation, which was funded with a grant with the National Trust for Historic Places; and her work to have numerous places in Tullahoma either converted into historical parks or placed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Wilson Crouch House, the city’s municipal building and the Smotherman House.

Collier also served the City of Tullahoma as an alderman from 1998 to 2003, and the board found it was “now fitting that we honor [her].”

Horn’s list of accomplishments and recognitions is no less impressive than Collier’s, as he has also been deeply dedicated to the Short Springs area.

Horn was a founding member of the Friends of Short Springs, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving and caring for the Short Springs Natural Area, as well as promoting the area for others to “explore and enjoy.”

Horn is a wildlife expert, spending a great deal of time travelling natural areas across the state studying and photographing Tennessee wildflowers.

Horn is also a director of the Tennessee Native Plants Society, as well as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Rare Plants in Tennessee. Through the Tennessee Native Plants Society, he helped curate the official field guide for wildflowers in the area, “Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians,” now in its third edition.

He was awarded a certificate of merit by the State of Tennessee in 2003 for his conservation efforts, and now leads a biannual wildflower hike through the Short Springs Natural Area.

Collier and Horn were presented official copies of the resolution that dedicated the bridge in their names on Sunday, as well as a commemorative plaque with the new name of the bridge on it, at a special ceremony near the bridge on Sunday, April 7.

Erin McCullough may be reached at emccullough@tullahomanews.com.