Local residents often take the short drive to Chapel Hill, Tennessee, just past the Eagleville city limits, to visit the award winning Henry Horton State Park. Now, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has honored the state park in Marshall County with the Excellence in Interpretation Award among the 56 Tennessee State Parks. The award is part of the annual Tennessee State Parks Awards of Excellence.
“Henry Horton State Park does a great job of capitalizing on the natural assets of the Duck River,” TDEC Commissioner David Salyers said. “The park enhances the visitor experience with content involving all ages, and we are proud to announce this award for the park.”
The Interpretation category of the awards is for parks that have demonstrated the ability to provide high quality and varied interpretive activities, which may include guided hikes, workshops, living history, games, special events, interpretive panels, exhibits, interpretive trail guides, and video presentations.
The park unveiled a new visitors center and restaurant last year. Interpretive themes at the park focused on the Duck River that runs through the middle of the park. A Duck River Education Room provides inspirational and educational content on the historical, ecological, and recreational value of the river.
Visitors can learn more about wetlands and aquatic species in a variety of ways – a path circumnavigating the wetland, a quiet observation platform, and another trail and viewing tower to see how the wetland connects to the river. Visitors with children can enjoy the content in fun, engaging ways.
TDEC also announced awards for the best parks in the following categories: Johnsonville State Historic Park for Customer Engagement; Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park in Innovation; and Dunbar Cave State Park and Edgar Evins State Park in a tie for best Resource Management. Radnor Lake State Park was named Park of the Year as well as winning the award in Sustainability.
PHOTO ABOVE THIS NEWS STORY: Henry Horton State Park won the Excellence in Interpretation Award presented by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. From left are Christopher Padgett, area manager; Greer Tidwell, deputy commissioner of TDEC; Ryan Jenkins, park manager; David Salyers, commissioner of TDEC; and Mike Robertson, director of operations for Tennessee State Parks.