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The Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area began to take form in 1999 following a visionary community event, "Muscle Shoals Reconsidered." During this conference, community leaders addressed the issue of how to create a relationship between the cultural aspects of the region and the area's quality of life. Following a second conference, "Muscle Shoals Reconsidered II," two committees were developed to further explore the issue. In 2000, a study of the cultural heritage of the Muscle Shoals Region identified opportunities for coalition building, established an inventory of assets, weighed the liabilities and validated earlier assumptions. The study also helped better define the themes, boundaries and stories of the Muscle Shoals region. In 2001, Alabama Rep. Robert "Bud" Cramer introduced legislation into the House of Representatives directing the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of establishing the heritage area. The legislation was signed into law in 2002, and the designation was approved in 2009.
About National Heritage Areas
The National Heritage Area (NHA) program, established by the Department of Interior and the National Park Service, recognizes regions throughout the U.S. with significant historical, cultural or natural features that help tell a national story of the country's evolution. National Heritage Areas are designated by Congress and must meet strict requirements.
Last updated: March 9, 2016