Otter pool at WNC Nature Center named for Horne

Published 2:02 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A newly renovated otter exhibit at the Western North Carolina Nature Center in Asheville, NC, was named for Polk resident Brandon Horne, who died in November 2009. The renovations were funded by a donation from Horne’s mother, Rennie Habel, in memory of her son, who was passionate about nature and animals. Through this memorial, she said, Horne will share his love of nature with thousands of Nature Center visitors for years to come. Horne was raised on his great-grandparents’ farm in Polk County. He spent his youth studying and admiring the host of Southern Appalachian animals that lived there: snakes, opossum, bobcat, turkey and hawks. Noticing Horne’s enthusiasm for the natural world, his mother made sure that many of their activities together were nature related. They visited many zoos while Horne was growing up. As Friends of the WNC Nature Center, Habel said she and her son made great use of the reciprocal zoo benefit and enjoyed every moment of it. Horne was married to Jolene Clark Horne of Walcott Farm Lane, Tryon.